Advancing Creativity
March 28 | 2014
News | Technology
We have all heard of, seen, or used 3D printing, but we don't yet know the full impact of how this advance in technology will impact the world of design.
by Pooja Vukosavich

I’ve always tried to stay ahead of the tech curve, and I get really excited to learn about how new technologies can influence the worlds of art and design. 
Earlier this year, I attended a demonstration about 3D printing at the Art Institute of Chicago. The event featured Chicago artist Tom Burtonwood, who demonstrated for us how 3D printing works, and talked a little about the opportunities that exist with this technology. 
Tim used a large 3D scanner and a printer, called Maker Bot, to scan and then replicate several objects. 

First, the objects were scanned by LED lights connected to a computer. Once the scan was processed, the printer head ran back and forth, building the object line-by-line, slowly replicating versions of both solid and hollow objects.
I found the process fascinating, and I began to dream about all of the ways in which this technology might change the field of design or impact the way we work. 

About 18 years ago, as designers, we had certain things within our control. If we wanted to do anything fancy, it took a lot of extra effort, and often had to be done manually. Then in the 1990s, Photoshop came along and it was magic in my hand. Now, 3D printing technology opens doors to a new world of possibilities and a whole new level of creativity. 

While larger companies are already employing 3D printing, boutiques are springing up to offer this technology to the masses. It will take some time before 3D printing becomes commonplace, but before that happens, as designers, we need to think about what this means for us, and how we might be able to harness this new technology. 

Certainly, it might allow us to inexpensively create models of products, or samples to give to clients. But this type of technology can also impact us in other ways. As individuals and businesses begin to want to give shape to their ideas, great design becomes even more critical. 
Technology puts so much power at our fingertips. I can’t wait to see how this continues to unfold!

Pooja is the President and Creative Director for Studio V Design, Inc. She founded the firm 25 years ago to produce compelling print and digital marketing communications for large and midsize companies. 
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