3D printing is a game changer in the world of arts and crafts. It really transforms ones perception of what can be done. The reason why people are ready to invest billions of dollars in this industry is because the technology is mind blowing and can adapt, change and grow very fast with each passing day. Like in most industries 3D printing is leaving an ever lasting impression of the contribution made by it, in the world of arts and crafts it is bridging the gap between technology and hands-on crafting. If seen with a broader perspective no area of the art world has been untouched by this technology from architecture to dance to painting to music.

Artists have understood have understood well the potential of 3D printing and the wonder that it can create once two diverse areas (i.e. 3D printing and arts) are merged together.

Recently the best example of this amalgamation was done by the husband- wife duo of Rob and Nick Carter. They 3D printed the painting of the world renowned French artist Vincent Van Gogh. They transformed the painting from a 2D image to a tangible object. The structure was achieved by the collaborative efforts of MPC which is an international visual experience and effects studio. They generated the digital adaptation of the flat artwork. The replica is outstanding because the strokes that Van Gogh had used in the painting were also replicated with the help of zbrush. The artwork is currently on display at eth Fine Art Society Contemporary until November 2, 2014.

Researchers in Canada have designed a family if prosthetic musical instruments which create music in response to body movements and gestures. These wearable instruments include an external spine and a touch sensitive rib cage. These wearable were made by Joseph Malloch and Ian Hattwick who are PhD researchers at McGill University, Canada. These prosthetic musical instruments are attached to the body and then connected to electronics via a thin wire which runs through the acrylic. Touch and motion sensors pick up body movements and radio transmitters are used to transmit the data to a computer that in turn translates this data into sound.

Ioan Florea, a Romanian artist has this unique addiction of turning the ideas in his head into 3D printed objects using machines to print plastic which he later changes into metal for his work of art is usally quite large and intricate. The most unexpected work of 3D printing art was the 1971 Ford Torino which he “encapsulated” in form fitting metal using 3D printing and nano- materials.

Architects Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger have built the world’s first 3d printed room. They have named this as the “Digital Grotesque”. This room was generated by using 3D modeling software. The room was constructed from grains of sand bonded together in order to create a new kind of sandstone that is capable of achieving the intricate forms as can be seen on the walls of the room.

If someone takes a look at the video of the famous art piece of “Bears on Stairs”, it would look quite normal and nothing that can be considered as a high concept art piece or a revolutionary piece of work. It is indeed simple and short which showcases a simple idea that will be fabricated by most animators. The company DBLG has come up with an interesting concept of creating a stop motion short with the help of 3D modeling software, animation software and a 3D printer. The bear and the stairs were created by using the 3D animation software and then each element was printed out frame by frame. The creators feel that this might not be the best way to create a stop motion short but it can definitely be considered as an exceptional example showcasing how 3D printing can be integrated into traditional art form like stop motion animation.

When we hear the word data our mind automatically creates a picture of a series of numbers of words which is fed in the computer or is found in papers. But image if you could wear data? Amazed? Xuedi Chen and Pedro Oliveira, NYU graduate student have come up with a dress named x.pose which links the dress to the wearer’s Smartphone to determine how much metadata is being collected at any given point. The 3D printed dress adjusts according to the data that is being shared. In other words the dress starts exposing the skin on the basis of the data that is being shared.

Imagine with we could conserve the heritage sites with the help of 3D printing. It would be great! Isn’t it? A similar thing happened after the degradation of the tomb of Egyptian king Tutankhamun. The ancient burial chamber was ravaged by tourists and tourism. In order to prevent the structure from further degradation a British artist Adam Lowe spent five years to recreate a life size replica of the tomb. Adam used 3D printing to recreate the magic of this tomb with keeping every bit of micro bacteria, crack and even flakes of paints in the right position.

Producing center pieces with the help of sugar and derivatives of sugar, artists are using 3D printing to do this. They have broken the barrier of plastic and metal. They are experimenting with food now. Many labs and also individual researchers have made objects with the help of 3D printing that are made entirely of edible materials. For example: the igloo made by design studio Emerging Objects which was made of salt panels.

Doodling in 3D has become the new in –thing. The new LIX 3D Printing Pen enables the user to doodle 3D images; it makes sketches of objects which can be used as blueprints for larger projects. The tool is very portable as it fits perfectly in ones pocket. The pen works like a 3D printer; it melts and cools colored plastic which allows the user to create free standing structures in thin air! The pen has a hot end nozzle which is supplied by power with the help of a USB port which is connected to the laptop or computer.

The list is actually never ending as to how 3D printing is changing the world of arts and crafts. There might be other ways as well by which 3D printing will change the way artists work. This amalgamation of 3D printing with art might also change the definition of art as a whole.

Image Credit: Dustin Gaffke (flickr Handle: onepointfour)