Editor's note: This guest post comes from 3D printing aficionado Chris Waldo, who has compiled a very impressive list of some very impressive folks pushing the envelope on 3D printing every week.
[Update: All images below are thumbnails; please click on them to see larger views]
Throughout all emerging markets & technologies, there are always a select few leading the pack. Whether it is through innovation, business, or science – someone has to take the lead. In the world of 3D printing, artists have been pushing the envelope for this technology. Listed below are some of the most influential artists within the field of 3D printing, in no particular order.
George W. Hart
George is a geometer with an extensive academic career. He is a research professor in the State University of New York, and has been found in multiple publications such as The New York Times and Science Magazine. This artist has set the bar for full color 3D printed sculptures through his various exhibits featuring very complex centers, curves, and full color models. He has changed the face of 3D printed full color displays and sculptures – no one can create designs like him!
Ovidiu is many things – a photographer, a web developer, an illustrator, a programmer, and a 3D artist. This artist has a shop on shapeways offering almost 200 designs! The majority of these printable items revolve around jewelry – including pendants, rings, earrings, and various dice. Since 2009, he has been drawing attention to the world of 3D printing through his creative work. Ovidiu really caught my attention with the creation of his “beer ring” which not only serves as a bottle opener, but when used in conjunction with a magnet – holds your favorite bottle cap on top of the ring! This artist has influenced the world of 3D printing through his innovative design skills and creativity, particularly through various pendants.
IMAGES COPYRIGHT PROTECTED ©2012 OVIDIU OPRESCO
Bathsheba Grossman is known across the world of 3D printing for producing spectacular mathematical models and sculptures. This artist has been featured in a wide array of publications – some of which date as far back as 2004. Through 3D printing & her creativity, Bathsheba has essentially “invented” multiple shapes, sculptures, and pieces. I have yet to find an artist that can put out metal sculptures similar to Bathsheba’s work. Her designs are available from quite a few sources, including shapeways, Thingiverse, or her personal website listed below.
Emmett is into 3D printing & design on a hobbyist level, while professionally an engineer holding a doctorate in aerospace controls. This artist is probably best known for the creation of the cube & heart gear models which twist and rotate as seen in the picture, as well as a few puzzle-like models. This artist has built a reputation for putting out quite a bit of valuable content to the open source network – Thingiverse. Feel free to check out all of Emmett’s work at the link below.
Michael Mueller (Pookas)
Pookas, a popular shop on Shapeways, is operated by a very talented designer – Michael Mueller. This artist is well known in the jewelry world for creating very clean and simplistic rings, pendants, and belt buckles. Michael even created a locket pendant – which may or may not be a first in the 3D printing world. This artist has influenced quite a few artists through his jewelry creations from stainless steel and sterling silver. In my opinion, no one can design rings like Michael.
Marco Valenzuela is a career 3D artist with an extensive record, including work with Tron, Sci-Fi Channel, and the WWE Wrestling video game series. Marco has worked in multiple niches within 3D printing, including character models, rings, pendants, earrings, and miscellaneous items. Although not huge into landscapes, Marco has truly influenced the world of 3D printing through his work with full color models, as well as jewelry.
Sheila Munro & Matthew J. Chin (Dropping Form Designs)
Dropping Form Designs – a shapeways shop ran by Matthew J. Chin & Sheila Munro – has put out some seriously intriguing work. The art exhibited by these artists is pretty diverse – Matthew and Sheila have jumped into multiple niches in the world of 3D printing. The shapeways shop opened by this team includes quite a few pendants, rings, and charms – as well as sculptures and miscellaneous objects like iphone cases. This team has put out some impressive work which I’m sure has influenced a number of artists in the arena of 3D printing. You can find Matthew & Sheila on their etsy page, or through their new business – Geomatrix Studio.
Yanying Huang is the operator of Yanying designs. Although this artist isn’t new to 3D design & is very talented, she hasn’t been very involved in the 3D printing world – not yet at least. To my knowledge, she is only offering 3 designs for printing. However, she ended up on this list because she created a gorgeous sculpture on Shapeways that went viral, as well as two other designs which stick out in the design world. Hopefully we’ll see more of Yanying, as she is very talented!
Stijn van der Linden (Virtox)
Stijn van der Linden is a seasoned 3D artist who has been putting out work on Shapeways since 2009 under the brand name – Virtox. This artist gained initial momentum from releasing the viral print – “Gyro The Cube,” a fully kinetic model which is hard to put down once you pick it up. You can see this print in action here. Stijn has been putting out an interesting combination of models since starting in the field of 3D printing – including sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, and miscellaneous pieces. Stijn has earned a name for creating very unconventional sculptures & jewelry while generating a style of his own.
Aaron Trocola (40 West Designs)
Aaron operates 40 West Designs – a popular shop on shapeways – as well as 2 custom design & manufacturing businesses. This artist has gained a reputation for creating medallions, special keys, and full color displays. Not many designers can create prints with intricate centers like Aaron does – see the “Time Keeper” model below. (Bottom row, middle image) Aaron is probably best known for his work with medallions and full color landscapes. See more of him at his website or shapeways page listed below.
The Final Word
Manufacturers like Objet and companies like Shapeways have empowered artists to change the world. Now that the technology of 3D printing is in the hands of “every day users,” quite a few people are changing the way manufacturing works on an individual level. These artists are leading the maker movement, and setting an example for new artists to come.