With each passing year, 3D-printed designs get bolder and more innovative.
An event in London next month will celebrate the emerging craft/art form. From October 19-21, The Brewery in London hosts the 3D Print Show, the world’s first consumer and trade show dedicated solely to the emerging 3D-printing phenomenon.
Most 3D printing relies on the basic process of using additive manufacturing to create an object by applying a hardening powder or liquid in many layers, usually based on computer aided design (CAD). Several advanced 3D-printing methods used to make the following models include rapid prototyping, stereo lithography, fused deposition modeling, and selective laser sintering.
Aside from the art gallery highlighted here (did we mention this is merely a small sampling?), the 3D Print Show offers more than 70 exhibitors and 50 seminars and workshops featuring some of the biggest players in the industry -- such as Legacy Effects' wiz Jason Lopes, the fellow who created the 3D-printed body armor used in the film "Iron Man 2" (among many other blockbuster projects). Other notable groups and companies in attendance will include MakerBot, Anarkick 3D, i.materialise, and Econolyst.
You might find yourself at a loss for words on looking at Eric van Straaten's "Groomer," which shows a group of nude swimmers lounging about on a very realistic-looking head. The artist says his work has "a weirdly eroticized corporeality." He continues: "Balancing on the edge of kitsch, the marzipanlike quality of the material resonates beautifully with the apparent innocence of the scenery."
Modeled after a real fetus, the "Foetal Medicine project" came to life through Jorge Lopes, who worked with Heron Warner, Stuart Campbell, and Ricardo Fontes at Tecnologias Humanas 3D on the project featured at 3D Print Show.
SaGa Design and Holographics created this surreal iPhone case called "Omniscient Siri," a 3D-printed representation of Apple's Siri voice assistant featured at the 3D Print Show in London. This case "forces the user to interact with Siri instead of tapping on the screen to engage commands," say the designers.
SaGa Design sells these Omniscient Siri iPhone cases in several shades for a steep $90. Users can place Siri's face on the back of the phone so as not to cover the screen. Bonus: the face emerging out of liquid doubles as a stand when placed at a certain orientation.
Sophie Kahn's "Dominick" sculpture, featured at the 3D Print Show, derived from using a cinema-quality laser scanner and 3D imaging software to create a unique characterization of a human face in motion.
"The precisely engineered scanning technology I use was never designed to represent the body, which is always in flux," Kahn notes on her Web site. "Confronted with motion, the software receives conflicting spatial coordinates, and generates a fragmented model. This model is then edited -- virtually 'sculpted' -- using 3D editing software." Read more about the methods and materials she uses for the 3D printing process.
3D Print Show featured artist Daniel Widrig -- whose street cred includes gems like co-creating the 3D-printed dress that won a spot on Time magazine's list of 50 Best Inventions of 2011 -- created the half-foot tall "Grid" -- a cubic pattern that shows signs of mutated life.
Rachel Harding’s 3D Print Show gallery piece used rapid prototyping to create "3D Lace." Harding writes on her Web site that the castle structure in the 3D object represents synthetic murder. "The hospital is constructed from lace patterns that have been grotesquely extruded to create a fairy-tale castle of treatment rooms and watch towers." We'll leave you to interpret that as you like.
This combination of Italian leather and a 3D-printed structure gives this walker some real panache for the 3D Print Show. The "Invisible Shoe" by Andreia Chaves explores the concept of invisibility through a unique optical effect that occurs owing to the reflective finished surface flashing with every step taken. The heel measures about 5 inches tall.
The translucent blue "Beast," by designer and MIT professor Neri Oxman, represents an "organiclike entity created synthetically by the incorporation of physical parameters with digital form-generation protocols." Like many of the other designs featured in this gallery, the elaborate design was created using an Objet printer.
Stephanie Lempert took a literary approach in her 3D-printed gun design. The "Reconstructed Reliquaries - Do You Feel Lucky?" piece boasts a long name but represents more than just a weapon, punk. "My continued fascination with methods of communication, and more narrowly with language, lead to an exploration of the intertwined nature of cherished mementos and the childhood reminiscences that make them precious," Lempert says on her portfolio site.