Journal

3D Printing and Proliferating Art


Edit: Typical writer’s note. I wrote this while watching television. Never good for structure, phrasing, or quality. Your mileage may vary.

  I just watched the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Hulu and I whole heartedly recommend it. This looks like it’ll be my replacement for Breaking Bad (and don’t tell anyone but I imagine I’ll like it more, Pinkman really isn’t my thing). I don’t have much to talk today. It was an incredibly slow day.

  I was thinking earlier while looking at a painting, why do people pay for originals? When I see a picture on my screen there is something about it that is lost compared to a poster, a magazine, or a painting. You might not think there is much in the way of texture with a picture or a poster but there is. The little cuts from shipping, the grain of the paper it is printed on, and even irregularities in your particular print.

  I would always take a physical copy of a commission over a digital if possible. It got me thinking about the problem and what the future might hold. There are, after all, only one copy of most of the world’s most famous paintings. But must this always be true?

  Claude_Monet_038

Imagine the feel.

  You can see this painting on my screen all. It’s beautiful, wonderful, all the things you’d expect for a famous piece of art. There is a slight sense of depth to this painting but not the genuine sensory overload that you’d experience being a few feet from this thing. Better still from being a few inches from it.

  This is where 3D printers come in. With modern day scanner technology [as far as I know] we can use lasers to measure something accurately to depths far finer than anything the human eye can discern and the finger can perceive. That isn’t to say that 3D printers themselves are that precise yet, I do not know if they are but I suspect they are not. But they will be someday.

  Someday you will be able to print the paintings of your dreams with the same materials that they were originally made with. You’ll be able to smell them, to see them, to feel them. The most remarkable accomplishments of humanity could become free from the danger of defacement or theft.

  But let’s say you don’t like that idea, maybe you think their rarity plays into their beauty (I’d disagree). But imagine you are someone who does artwork yourself. You could do your works, scan them in with a hand scanner, and then the person who commissioned you can have it 3D printed. None of the shipping necessary. The artist keeps the original and an exact duplicate is made at the location of the interested party.

  Simple, efficient, beautiful. At least to me. The idea of artwork proliferating is one that I find very alluring.