3D Printed Buttons from Studio Famke Roefs are examples of 3D printing. Images courtesy of Gestalten
GERMANY—As the 3D printer technology continues to improve, they are becoming commonplace. In a matter of years, they will be found workshops, offices, and homes. The opportunities from 3D printers are endless. Users will be able to print out small pieces of furniture, prototypes, replacement parts, and even a new toothbrush on-site at any time. Already, the endless possibilities of 3D printers are shaping new production methods and business models are developing and tagging along with a new visual language of multidimensional formal explorations. Presently, those who can afford the 3D printers are printing 3D objects and complex forms that were previously impossible to achieve with traditional methods.
Printing Things, a new book on 3D printing, looks at the endless possibilities of 3D printing. Printing Things is an inspirational and understandable exploration of the creative potential of 3D printing. The book not only introduces outstanding projects, key experts, and the newest technologies, but it also delves into the complex topics that these paradigm-shifting technologies bring up, such as how to handle copyrights and seamless manufacturing.
Designers, trend scouts, scientists, and companies all agree—the golden age of 3D printing has now begun. In all likelihood, this development represents the largest technical upheaval in manufacturing since the invention of the lathe.
3D printing results in complex, three-dimensional objects that are built in layers out of liquids or powder. Given current advancements, 3D printers will soon be found in more and more workshops, offices, and homes. With them, we will be able to print out jewelry, small pieces of furniture, prototypes, replacement parts, or even food at any time. In the near future, if we forget our toothbrush on a trip, we can simply print out a new one in our hotel room.
As these production processes become reality, completely new visual languages and business models must develop along with them. Forms and constructions that were previously impossible to achieve with traditional methods can already be printed out.
Printing Things offers both professionals and interested laypersons an introduction into the paradigm-shifting topic of 3D printing. The book not only provides a useful overview of machines, tools, and processes but also showcases trendsetting designers and their projects.
Sharing a love of technology and experimentation, a new generation of designers and creative outsiders can hardly wait to explore the potentials and boundaries of 3D printing. The race is on for anyone to come up with the services and products that will best appeal to a mass market with a growing sensibility for design. Against this background, Printing Things is an essential guidebook for today and tomorrow’s cutting-edge design professionals, tinkerers, and companies.