3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method of creating a three dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer created design. Plastics and metals are the most commonly used material; however, thermoplastics, ceramics and resin are also used. The printing process can take anywhere from a few hours up to a number of days in order to accurately print the desired product.
Artists of different fine Arts disciplines have found ways to embrace 3D printing as a medium in their works. An example is South African artist Juanita Oosthuizen
who has incorporated her uniquely designed 3D printed objects in her series of assemblage works titled Inspirational Vases
: her astonishing intricate miniatures are printed to just 0.8mm thick using a white resin - a rarity.
3D Printing As An Art Medium
The introduction of 3D printing to the art world has proved how useful technology can be to the practice. This type of printing allows for the creation of objects with complicated geometries which would traditionally use more resources and time to manufacture or even need to be made by hand. Objects with these complicated geometries and requirements are no longer out of reach for artists, but more accessible than ever before. 3D printing was first introduced into the art world in the form of sculpture replication and for galleries and museums. Sculptures no longer need to be made from bronze or clay, but can be printed using metal, plastic or carbon. Although art may not be the intended use for 3D printing, it is slowly but surely creeping into the art world and allowing for many artists to unlock a new source of inspiration with endless possibilities.
Artists like Juanita Oosthuizen have adopted this method of manufacturing objects to create an intricately designed artwork that strays far from what one would expect to come as a result of 3D printing.