Since the first functional 3D printers were created 30 years ago they have been used to create car parts, smartphone cases, fashion accessories and even artificial organs. Not only is the technology impressive, so are the different types of materials you can print with. But I want to focus on what 3D printing can do in the hands of creatives (especially since 3D printing is now possible from Photoshop CC). I’ve highlighted a couple of areas where artists and designers are doing amazing work in the hopes that it will inspire you to create. (And remember  that you don’t need a 3D printer. Just create/refine with Photoshop CC and send directly to Shapeways.com.)


Anatomica di Revolutis by Josh Harker

Anatomica di Revolutis by Josh Harker

Technically Complex Tangles

Josh Harker is considered a pioneer and visionary in 3D printed art and sculpture. He is credited as the first to break the “design & manufacturing possibility threshold” due to the level of detail he has in his work. Yet 3D printing has come a long way and now you can achieve this same level of detail using something like laser sintering. Don’t have the $250k laser sinter printer? Just send it to an online service like Shapeways.com and they’ll mail it to your house.  Or you can view (and purchase) his work on his website.


Eric van Straaten's 3D Printed Sculptures

Eric van Straaten’s 3D Printed Sculptures

Full-Color Sculptures

“There is no technique that is capable of achieving such a great degree of hyper(sur)realism as 3D-modeling. At the same time, 3D printing is the only technique with which virtual models can be made actually physically touchable,” says artist Eric Van Straaten. Eric creates and prints 3D objects using full-color sandstone.
How can you do this?

  1. Use the 3D app of your choice to create an object.
  2. Import it into Photoshop CC.
  3. Paint directly on the object.
  4. Send to Shapeways from Photoshop CC for printing.

View more of Eric’s work.

 


Gilles Azzaro's Regards d'Eclat de Voix

Gilles Azzaro’s Regards d’Eclat de Voix

 Interactive 3D Voiceprint

I had the privilege of meeting artist Gilles Azzaro at 3D Printshow in NYC where he revealed an incredibly creative printed sculpture featuring a speech made by Barrack Obama explaining the ‘Next Industrial Revolution’ (3D Printing!). A creative use of multiple technologies, made possible by 3D printing.  See the video of it in action here.

 


Sebastian Errazuriz's 12 shoes for 12 loves

Sebastian Errazuriz’s 12 shoes for 12 loves

Fashion

There are many fashion designers using 3D printing (see below) but I personally like Sebastian Errazuriz as he uses 3D printing to tell stories of love through the memory of 12 previous relationships. The shoes are just fantastic and are accompanied by photos and stories that are equally interesting.


 

Johnson Banks, Arkitypo

Johnson Banks, Arkitypo

3D Printed Alphabet

Johnson Banks has created Arkitype, which is an “alphabet of alphabets”. They developed a typographic 3D print of the alphabet, based on popular typefaces. A must for anyone interested in typography and can handle being really jealous of this creative and beautiful idea. Check it out.


 

Infinite Sisu - iPad Stand

Infinite Sisu – iPad Stand

Functional & Personalized Items

There is hardly a designer out there who doesn’t have a unique iPhone case or laptop sticker. It’s in our blood to create and customize. This sets up 3D printing for a number of uses, like this iPad stand, or my iPhone case. This is one of the many items that have been created by designers and are available on Shapeways.com. Or you can make your own using Photoshop CC like I did.


Below are some additional 3D printed works to inspire you and show the different uses of 3D printing in the hands of creatives.

Monika Horčicová

Monika Horčicová’s artwork

Scott Summit's 3D printed acoustic guitar

Scott Summit’s 3D printed acoustic guitar

Nervous System generative art

Nervous System generative art

Ashley Zelinskie

Ashley Zelinskie, code and art

Cokreeate's comic book cover

Cokreeate’s comic book cover

Chang-rae Lee's "On Such a Full Sea" 3D printed book cover

Chang-rae Lee’s “On Such a Full Sea” 3D printed book cover

3D printed selfies

3D printed selfies

3D waveforms
Darwin's Silver Cladogram Tree

Darwin’s Silver Cladogram Tree and other jewelry

Smartphone stands and covers

Smartphone stands and covers

3D Printed Typographic Sculpture

3D printing as typographic illustration

Dann Chetrit sculpture

Dann Chetrit sculpture

Michaella Janse van Vuuren

Michaella Janse van Vuuren functional sculptures

Sad Keanu meme

Sad Keanu meme

Creative Cloud Espresso Cup

Creative Cloud Espresso Cup

Nuke Lamp

Venerie Design’s Nuke Lamp

3D Print a Venus de Milo

Your very own 3D Print of Venus de Milo (Cosmo Wenman)

Francis Bitonti

Francis Bitonti fashion

Robot Scarecrow created entirely in Photoshop

Francois Veraart’s Robot Scarecrow (created entirely in Photoshop CC)

David Munson's WTC Triptych

David Munson’s WTC Triptych

Louis Pratt manipulating scanned data

Louis Pratt manipulating scanned data

Linlin & Pierre-Yves Jacques

Linlin & Pierre-Yves Jacques

Theo Jansen's Animaris Geneticus Gracilis

Theo Jansen’s Animaris Geneticus Gracilis

Cobb's totem from the film Inception.

Book/movie items (Cobb’s totem from Inception)

 

Author in custom 3D printed glasses

Author in custom 3D printed glasses

As you can see there are many designers and artists using 3D printing in fascinating ways. But the question is, in this relatively new field, what will you create?