Thursday, October 03, 2013

3D printing for art

Anybody into 3D printing?
I want to look into using 3D printing for making small art objects.
The result should be reasonably durable, of course. And printing in colors would be nice too.
Just a rough picture. What’s possible at what price range, maybe naming a specific machine or two.
Admittedly the software side may be a challenge. What I’ve seen of 3D modeling software looked complex, and I’m getting to be an old dog when comes to learning new tricks, my patience is very short. 
Any ideas?

"Shapeways" has been suggested, and it seems very promising.
The video is impressive. People make some fantastic shapes, some even that would be virtually impossible to make in any other way. (I've heard of those spheres-within-spheres which were somehow carved on bone, but I can't imagine how the frig they were made.)

Here are some cool examples of what people have made.


B said...

I probably can answer most of your questions on 3D printing, but I would recommend you start by visiting shapeways
, perhaps starting with their materials portfolio
page. Have a look at what they make available, and perhaps order one or two materials sample kit
if you want to get a better feel of said materials.

While Shapeway's materials and technologies portfolio is far from encompassing the whole of this booming world, it's a very good and affordable place to start and "make your classes" in 3D printing. Once you are familiar with the entire 3D printing design chain from modeling to surface finishing, then you can start to consider higher end processes, like titanium SLS & such, should you have a specific application in mind requiring stronger and/or more versatile materials. Or buy and set up your own printer, of course.

Pat McGee said...

I'm not sure I can improve on The people I know are more into the low-end machines, almost exclusively working in black plastic. They get the cheap kits for $800-1000. Now that I think about it, they so far have exclusively made things for which they downloaded already-done instruction files.

(These are people I met at a local maker-space here in the US. Do you guys have such yet? It's a bunch of tool junkies who got together and rented a space, then filled it with various tools, including lathe, power saw, laser cutter, beer-maker, electronics bench, welding setup, and a bunch of other stuff that they can't really keep in their garages. If you can find one, it would probably be eye-opening.)

As for the software, I've tried to dabble in it, completely without success. I think there's something I "know" to be true about how to think about the problem that is no longer true, and I haven't been able to figure it out from self-study. If I get serious again, I'm going to find someone who knows how to use it and get a tutorial. Again, if you can find a maker space, that's probably a good place to start.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Ah thanks, interesting idea.