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SME Rapid Conference Hosts 3D Printing Art Gallery

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Rob Spiegel
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A new twist on 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   5/10/2013 11:39:23 AM
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I've been thinking of 3D printing in terms of product prototype or a way to create out-of-service replacement parts. Hadn't thought of art until I saw the post on the 3D pen that ran yesterday:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=263115&itc=dn_analysis_element&

Now we have a 3D art gallery at a conference.

It will be fun watching what happens with this new technology.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   5/10/2013 2:24:02 PM
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Thanks Cabe, this looks like fun. Glad the SME has discovered the intersection of art and 3D design and printing.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Cabe Atwell   5/10/2013 3:46:45 PM
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Not to start a crazy debate, but... what is art? The true definition.

Are these 3D printed objects art? Or are they just utilitarian? Do the objects evoke an emotion?

On that note, is everyone an artist when they print something?

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Elizabeth M   5/13/2013 7:17:56 AM
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This is great, I love to see the merging of art and technology. But as you say, Cabe, what is art? I would say it is the free expression of creativity and the creation of something new (at its most basic level) in whatever form that takes, so I would argue you can have a very loose interpretation of what it means. That said, there is "good art" and "bad art." But that is a whole other debate that I'm pretty sure this isn't the appropriate place for it!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   5/13/2013 12:36:01 PM
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Yep, that's a crazy debate, Cabe. Not all art is necessarily emotional. Some art delivers an intellectual charge rather than an emotional one. Some art is apparently ugly. Andy Warhol's art was borrowed from everyday life. All that said, virtually any tool can be used to create art. Why not a 3D printer?

apresher
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3D Printing as Art
apresher   5/13/2013 3:15:44 PM
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Cabe, You're an optimist to believe we can get a meaningful definition of art on the Design News website.  But there's not doubt that the link between 3D computer tools and art is a powerful combination. If a person can think of an idea and execute its creation using software tools, 3D printing definitely offers a unique ability to produce the 3D object whether it finally qualifies as art of not. But ultimately I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   5/13/2013 3:39:41 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth. Technology and art meet often. During the dot com boom, I often thought many of the businesses getting launched were works of real imagination. While many of them couldn't rationalize their business model on a monetary level, it didn't really matter. Many of these businesses were designed just to get through an IPO -- and many did.

Charles Murray
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Charles Murray   5/13/2013 7:55:17 PM
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I know we've previously seen the image in the third slide, but I can't remember what it is. In answer to your question, Cabe: Yes, it does evoke an emotion in me. The emotion is fear. I don't know what that is, but it scares me.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: A new twist on 3D printing
Ralphy Boy   5/13/2013 9:04:55 PM
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Hey Cabe...

That question comes up everytime there is a new media to play with I'll bet.  

I just downloaded the 3D fractal creation program MandelBulb. It has a fairly steep learning curve so I went to a forum for some tutorials, and the same question 'is this art?' was being discussed on one of the threads.

It seems to me that in all these new computer aided media types that the output will be art, or not be art... on a piece by piece basis. Kind of like cars; some of them are beautiful to look at and that alone is reason enough to want to see them; they border on being art.

Some fractal output is totally mundane and because there is no real use for them, they are pretty much worthless. Some are amazing to look at and explore... that is their value... and so they can be considered art in my book.

It is possible to save 3D fractals as .obj files, which I assume can then be 3D printed. Some of the space/futuristic stuff may have commercial value as toys or in movies as miniatures. I guess that may be the rub... None of these pieces will necessarily stay singularly unique, though that alone should not be reason to declare something non-art.

So far (since downloading last Friday) the most uniquely cool fractal I've made with the MB software is a gold colored lace jack-o-lantern which looks vaguely like image #4 in the slide show... I may have to see about getting that one 3D printed... $$$

In short... A pencil in the correct hands can make amazing art, while in others it may only produce worthless scribbles.

Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D Printing as Art
Elizabeth M   5/14/2013 6:58:32 AM
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Well, Al, I think our readers are quite informed and might actually have some good opinions on what they think art is! ;) Given the intersection of technology and art, even the most technically minded person can still be creative. In fact, I have a friend who teaches both art and computer science at a local school, proving both sides of the brain can be engaged at the same time.

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