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3D Printed Art: How 3D Printing Is Changing Art Fabrication

July 29, 2020
3 min read

Ever since the introduction of 3D printing, artists have found ways to incorporate 3d printed objects into their artwork. 3D printing has pushed the boundaries of art and the limits of what an artist can create. It has

In this article, we'll show why you should consider 3d printing for your next art piece.

1. It makes the impossible, possible.

It sounds cheesy but there is some truth to it. Traditional fabrication methods have its limits. There's only so much a human hand can sculpt or a CNC miller can mill. Getting complex shapes or very intricate designs isn't an issue with 3D printing. In fact, your imagination is the limit!

This Vitruvian Man Westworld inspired sculpture was digitally sculpted and 3d printed

2. 3D printing technology has come a long way.

3D printing technology has come a long way. No more 3D prints with rough surfaces or banding lines. SLA 3D printing has allowed us to 3d print objects that have a smooth finish, which makes it perfect for creating resin molds, painting, or even metal plating.

Copper plated sculpture for artist William Lamson. This was 3D printed on an SLA machine and metal plated with copper afterwards. Notice the smoothness of the surface.

3. Size is not a problem.

Whether you're looking to make a small or a large version of your art piece, 3d printing can easily make it happen. We have worked with artists who wanted a 6 feet version of their art sculpture and later on wanted a limited edition miniature version of their sculpture.

Below are 6ft sculptures we fabricated for Austin Lee and a miniature version of the Fearless Girl statue.

Using industrial 3d printers, 3d printing large scale models is not an issue anymore.

4. It speeds up the fabrication process.

This 2ft trophy/sculpture for Book of The Year was made over a weekend.

Life-sized sculptures can take 6-8 weeks or even more to make with traditional fabrication techniques. 3D printing, on the other hand, can turnaround sculptures in 2 weeks or less depending on the complexity and size.

5. You can prototype before production

Stainless steel sculpture of Trump's headTrump's head 3D model
Digital Prototype
Final Product

Since 3D printing requires a 3D model, it makes it easier to make changes without committing to full production. You can work with a 3d artist to make changes to the design and get immediate feedback. You can also 3d print the 3d model to see it in action. Being able to prototype without the need to commit to a full on production can save you a lot of time, money and headache if the final art piece is not what you envisioned.

Final thoughts

3D printing can open up endless possibilities for artists. Whether you're making something complex or something simple. we believe you should consider 3D printing. We're a little bit biased since we're a 3D printing company after all, but the artists that we've worked with have nothing but praise for having their art 3d printed as opposed to doing it to the old way. What's even better is mixing traditional fabrication methods with 3d printing fabrication.

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About the author

Travis Gagnon

Travis is a freelance writer and a 3D printing enthusiast. He loves his dog as much as he loves to cook.