How 3D Printing is Changing the Art Scene

The art world is all about taking your creativity to the next level. Who can come up with the installation with the most meaning? Who can create something that’s truly outlandish or risque? But the beauty of this community is that it extends into so many realms of the world, including technology.

One way we see art visibly involved in technology is with 3D printed objects. Since this technology was invented in the 1980s, there have been many applications including uses in science and healthcare, but where it’s really taken center stage is in the art scene.

Artists from many disciplines have all taken advantage of 3D printing technology in their works. From life-size installations to intricate interpretations of the human body, 3D printed art is truly a sight to behold. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most groundbreaking 3D artworks in history and how this medium is changing how art is made today.

A whole new world of materials

When most of us think of 3D printing, hard plastic materials are generally what come to mind—but there are actually tons of materials that can be used. From clay to wood and even chocolate and cheese, there’s virtually no limit to the kind of art you can create using this revolutionary technique.

Oliver van Herpt is a Dutch artist that uses 3D printing technology to create his ceramic vases. Each has a unique design that appears to be built by hand, but actually follows a pattern that’s programmed into the machine. But how do such fragile materials like porcelain and chocolate evolve into such intricate designs? 3D printed materials can be in the form of dried particles (like sand) or in a liquid form and then dried.

Increased accessibility to art

Much like how graffiti artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey have displayed their work on buildings and other structures for the world to see, 3D artists are also taking their art to the streets. This 3D printed room was designed by architects Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer and incorporates religious-inspired details entirely constructed with 3D print technology.

These public installations establish spaces in the community for art that inspire, educate, and engage the public in the art world.

More interactive designs

In addition to displays and edible art, 3D printing has also changed the way interactive pieces are designed. Instruments are some of the most useful applications of 3D printed art. There are many potential benefits to printing instruments. For one, they can be manufactured at a lower cost than traditional methods. Secondly, they test traditional designs with innovative structures and customizations. And finally, printed instruments tend to be lighter than traditional ones, so they can travel easier.

Wearable art

3D art has extended far beyond music, display art, and public installations. 3D printed designs have even made their way onto the runway! In fact, designer Danit Peleg has created an entire line of clothing and design workshops based on her 3D originals. 

New historical perspectives

Besides being beautiful and interesting to look at, 3D art can also be used as a learning tool. Using historical records, artists have been able to recreate some of history’s most significant features including King Tut’s tomb and figures like Lincoln and Shakespeare.

These items can be used to learn about how ancient histories survived, how they looked, what they wore, and more.

3D art you can create and own

If you’re feeling moved by these pieces, why not give 3D printing a try for yourself? These 3D printable models allow you to print Banksy-inspired figurines, custom puzzles, key rings, and more. Whether you’re launching an art installation of your own, or just want to hone your creative skills, 3D printing is a unique, exciting medium to explore.

Wrapping up

Looking for inspiration on your next 3D project? Use this post as a guide to learn how you can take advantage of 3D printing technology in your art and glean inspiration for your next masterpiece.

Did we miss any incredible 3D works of art or ways that this technology is changing the art world? Share your thoughts and your favourite 3D pieces in the comments below!


About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'