Printing in 3d is in a huge upward trend with no sign of ever returning to the little know technology it once was. Just go to google trends and type in 3d printing to see what's been happening in the world of printing in 3d lately. 3d printing has been around for a few decades now with the first significant patent of related technology back in 1979 by Ross Housholder. Houshloder's patent was non commercial and is not often mentioned, but he was the first to patent a process that mentioned a molding process for 3 dimensional objects in layers. Read our article on 3d printing if you are not sure what it is or just want a general understanding of it's implications.
Why is this important for you as an Artist? Well because in every business "the trend is your friend" and yes, if you want to earn a living from your art it will need to be a business in some form. Knowing the trend is clearly important so that you can focus your time and effort in the best areas possible. After all at 3D Graphic Art we are all about "Artists for Artists" and we want you to succeed. 3d printing is developing to be able to produce more and more items in varying materials every day. There are places that will take a 2d photo of yourself and turn it into a 3d doll or action figure. If you are a digital artist, a whole new world of opportunities is opening up for you with incredible potential. You can begin to think of the applications this technology has on your ability to produce and sell your unique artwork faster and at a better price than ever before. You can now print on demand, only creating items to fill specific orders, no more worrying about too much inventory or the hassle of out sourcing for mass production.
Staples has announced plans to begin to offer to print in 3d at stores in Netherlands and Belgium. Maker Bot has opened an all 3d printing store in Brooklyn, NY where you can walk in and purchase your own 3d printer for about $2,200.
Printing In 3d Resources:
There are lots of 3d printing resources out there with more and more coming online every day. Here are a few places where you can get started.
Update, July 2013:
- Amazon is now selling multiple varieties of 3d printers, books and accessories, It has officially hit the mainstream now. Shop Maker Bot at Amazon Here. Shop Flash Forge 3D Printer at Amazon Here.
-Staples stores are now widely carrying 3d printers and supplies too.
- Maker Bot has been bought out by Stratasys, one of the market leaders in 3d printing.
-The 3d printing industry continues to consolidate, as we had mentioned it would months ago, driving prices down and their availability up.
Autodesk 123d is a free 3d printing software that is a great place to get started and they help you every step of the way, even to upload your project to the company that does the 3d printing for you.
Shapeways.com is the place that Autodesk 123d uses and they are a great place to visit and see what's going on. They will even host a storefront for you and your products to help you succeed.
i.materialise.com offers a similar service with 15 -16 different materials including bronze, ceramic, silver, stainless steel, even gold. You can upload your designs and they tell you the price instantly.
Sculpteo.com offers this service too with currently 9 materials, mostly plastics and resins plus ceramic and silver. They offer software workshops too for help with Autodesk 123d plus many others.
Makerbot.com is the place to go to buy your own 3d printer and they have their own design software as well called makerware. They are based in Brooklyn, NY and even have a storefront too.
There are many other places to print in 3d, but this enough to get you started. We will be sharing more 3d printing resources right here as exciting new developments arise.
Okay it's time to get started, because you know that at 3D Graphic Art we love to share free information to help Artists to succeed, but it's all about taking action on the information we share. Put this page in your favorites so you will have it as a resource to come back to in the future.
-To Your Success, "Artists for Artists" - 3D Graphic Art.com
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Printing In 3D
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