As kids we built all kinds of incredible things with LEGO - rocket ships, secret lairs, and elaborate alternate worlds. With 3D printing, the next generation will not only be able to print their own LEGO, but design and create the ideas of their wildest dreams from the comfort of home.
Some of the people doing the most exciting work in the field are artists who’ve jumped wholeheartedly into 3D printing. Joshua Harker is a multimedia artist who is not only 3D printing pioneer; he has actively pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the medium.
Though he has been working with software and 3D printed art for years, Harker achieved internet notoriety when his minutely stylized Crania Anatomica Filigre became one of Kickstarter’s highest backed art projects.
Harker craves to make the unmakeable – working at the outer boundaries of what’s possible. His early Tangle series of sculptures sought to push the boundaries of what 3D printers were conceptually and physically capable of making.
Harker’s work uses digital and electronic tools to create work that’s fluid and organic in a way that wouldn’t have been possible prior to some of these new forms of technology. Feathers, bone, and sometimes flesh come out in a way that’s incredibly vivid.
Because of incredible advancements in 3D printing technology, more and more things that were previously unmakeable are now within the artist’s realm of possibility.
3D printing has brought about the democratization of high art. Anyone can buy a Josh Harker sculpture; they’re affordable, come in a multitude of sizes, and it’s easy to print off new sculptures to meet a growing demand. Accessible 3D printed art is prevalent in online communities such as Thingiverse, where artists and makers share one another’s designs and remotely collaborate on projects across continents.
Get ready. 3D printing is about to explode. While Make: Magazine has been popularizing 3D printing for years, more recently, libraries have started devoting space and time to creating maker spaces and teaching classes on 3D printing. The future isn’t always somewhere else. It can be can be happening in your neighborhood, your library, or your home.