Artists, designers, craftsmen, and the like will all find ways to express their creativity no matter the tool set, but their quest to continually innovate has through the centuries been greatly responsible for many techniques and tools available today.
With a technology like 3D printing however, the artistic spirit is unfettered in myriad ways—not only just because of the unlimited potential in the creation of 3D printed items, but also in the independence it offers artists to be able to prototype and manufacture without involving anyone else. Designs can be tweaked and re-printed on a whim, daily, if they so choose.
Because it does offer so much to the designer, and often seems like pure magic, 3D printing is especially appealing to students who are usually working on multiple projects at once and still navigating their way into finding what area or field it is they want to dedicate themselves to. Just having one 3D printer on campus—or an entire lab full of them—is a not only a great novelty but also a luxury and a privilege, and just as at public libraries and other venues offering their services for free—there is usually a line of eager users waiting to get their hands on the 3D printing equipment.
And while it is definitely the role of the art teacher to teach new technology and encourage its use, the students at the USC School of Architecture are sometimes overly enthusiastic about the use of 3D printing, causing faculty to think they need to explore all of their options, materials, and timeframe for deadlines before running straight to the 3D printer. … (read more)