Luckily the viral panic about 3D printing did not stick. The potential for additive manufacturing is huge, by only printing what you need, as you need it has huge benefits for sustainable manufacturing, coupled with developments in non-oil based plastics to extrude and print with, 3D printing can have a revolutionary effect on how we manufacture from cars to small components.
In the Creative industry, some industries like product design have seen huge transitions into CAD/CAM, using professional modellers to create precision engineered prototypes. Companies from Dyson to Games workshop now use the technology.
Museums have used the 3D printing technology in conjunction with photogrammetry techniques to re-create artifacts from world heritage sites destroyed by ISIS.
The combination of artists and craftsmen who have embraced the digital world such to make statements about the world are now able to control digital data to create 3D objects that embrace traditional craft and digital.
Vanessa Pearson (title image) in her final year at Arts University Bournemouth is studying on the course BA (Hons) Modelmaking. Her client at the Bournemouth natural science society had an MRI scan of a mummified Egyptian in their collection. Vanessa extrapolated the data from the scan to be able to print a 3D model of the scull so she could 3D printed it. The scull enabled her to work on an accurate base to take dimensions from, she was then able to use traditional techniques to forensically reconstruct the girl who was last alive over 3000 years ago and not been seen since then.
The creative industries are perfectly placed to exploit the potential of what this technology can produce and while the third industrial revolution has been surpassed by the fourth, it still has scope for new and exciting creations
main image used with kind permission from the artist: Vanessa Pearson