Rapid prototyping is taking the creative world by storm. Gone are the simplistic ways of thinking when it comes to potential uses of a 3D printer. Today, architects, artists, museums, fashion designers, and interior designers are all using these devices to create works of art only suitable for the 21st Century.
The architects of the world are in competition to see who will be the first person to successfully build a 3D-printed house. Teams, companies, and countries are all racing to build the first habitable houses, buildings, and other structures. While the notoriety of such achievements may been much desired by the architects, the potential positive impact is far greater to the whole of society. If houses and other structures are able to be constructed using rapid prototyping, the cost of building houses will plummet in many cases. Also, customization of homes will be significantly greater. And, many progressive architects are working to construct printed homes from renewable resources making the environmental impact of home construction practically nil in comparison to today.
Art and Culture
Artists are utilizing rapid prototyping to transform their traditional works into revolutionary masterpieces. Whether one is interpreting a classic into a physical form or generating their original ideas into reality, the art world is beginning to enter a new period. Artists are creating sculptures, transforming existing non-printed physical objects, and taking masterpieces of artwork and turning them into a 3D object. Chefs are even using these machines to create food art as it is well known that people eat with their eyes firstly. Artists can even apply for grants to create art from rapid prototyping. And, it is bringing art and culture to communities that have been void of great works of art in a way like never before. This could have profound impact on children who would normally never be exposed to the art world in a realistic manner. The art industry can only benefit from more people having direct access to these developments.
Just as with artists, museums are using rapid prototyping in extraordinary ways. Some of the most well-respected museums in the world, such as the British Museum, are creating new ways for people to visit their museums without having to leave the comfort of their homes or to simply pop into the public library or a cyber cafe. People have the ability to visit these websites for a virtual tour to experience the museum as if they were there. At the end, people can select from a number of exhibit items they would like to have 3D printed to be shipped directly to their homes.
With a slightly different approach, The Art Institute of Chicago is scanning many of their pieces so that people in smaller communities all over the globe can obtain the scans, print them, and display these famous works in areas that would normally never have the opportunity to display such priceless artifacts and works of art. Museums have often struggled with financial support, perhaps these ground-breaking rapid prototyping ideas will help save art and culture and make it more affordable to all.
Fashion designers are beginning to embrace rapid prototyping. Fashion is one of the most forward-thinking and outside-the-box industries in the world; therefore, it is only logical they would look to rapid prototyping to take fashion to the next level. At the moment, most fashion created by 3D printing is limited to haute couture, or rather designs that people would not wear everyday. These transformative designers are inspiring industry professionals to find ways to use them in a more practical manner, as well. This is only the beginning to printed fashion. Many fashion innovators and designers believe that in the future, people will be able to select the design of their choice and print the item at home. Men and women alike will be able to have custom-tailored clothing that fits their bodies perfectly rather than to rely upon the generic sizes that are currently provided in shops and online. This could also have tremendous environmental benefits, as well as help to improve human rights in various countries and make basic clothing more affordable to those who cannot afford to clothe their growing children.
It is still too expensive for most people to use rapid prototyping technologies to create their own custom interior designs at home; however, top professionals are already embracing the future. Some designers will construct custom pieces for their clients and others will produce several items of a unique design to be sold to anyone. The designs range from items such as lamps and vases to elaborate chandeliers and designer chairs. Some designers will even go so far as to create intricate custom crown moulding to make a room stand out. Other stunning applications include silverware, water faucets, light fixtures, plant stands, and much more. Someday, it might just be possible to create personal designs without ever leaving the house and to create a totally unique home aesthetic to claim as one’s own.
There is no limit to the potential uses of rapid prototyping. These machines are fueling creativity the world over. Whether it is a child who becomes inspired by seeing a reconstructed great work of art or an architect discovering uses for more environmentally friendly materials, the world is being positively impacted by the beauty that is created by 3D printers and the creative individuals behind the art and designs.
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