The concept of 3D printing or rapid prototyping was once confined within the realm of engineering, architecture and related fields. Developments in 3D printing technology, however, have made it possible for other fields to benefit from this technology. Included in these fields are medicine, education, archaeology and manufacturing.
The field of art is another area of study that is greatly benefiting from the use of 3D printing technology. This form of technology has opened new avenues of expression for artists who want to create something using non-traditional ways of creating art. Metal sculptures are just some examples of artwork that you can create with 3D printers.
Sounds Like Science Fiction
The idea of being able to print metal objects can sound like something straight out of Star Trek or any science fiction story. After all, does not the idea of printing metal sound baffling? But since life imitates art, there are special 3D printers designed to work with powdered metal in lieu of the typical resins and powders used in 3D printing.
Powdered metal has a viscous quality that allows it to flow into form, but it is very fine, finer than cornstarch or any other powdered materials used with 3D printers. Powdered metal can also feel heavy and cold to the touch. The resulting object from the printing process would appear so much like soldered metal that no one would guess that the object was printed.
Creating Art the 3D Way
As it is with any 3D printing project, creating metal sculptures using 3D printers begins with the design. An artist may have varying ways to come up with the design of the sculpture he or she has in mind. The design may be drawn digitally using CAD software, or it can be molded using clay, cardboard or any material that the artist finds convenient. If the design was created using a mold, the mold will then be scanned to produce a 3D image.
Once the scanning is completed, the software then generates the 3D image. The artist makes the necessary corrections and adjustments to the work, and then the software slices the image into layers at the cross section. Afterwards, the file is fed to the 3D printer, and the 3D printer gets to work by building the 3D object layer after layer. What will come out of this is the actual metal sculpture that the artist designed.
It does not end there, however. The artist will have to shake some residual powder clinging to the sculpture. And then, the artist will bake the sculpture inside the oven so as to fuse the metal granules together without collapsing the entire structure.
Once the sculpture is all fused, the finishing touches will be made. These finishing touches, however, will need to be done traditionally. The artist may choose to adjust the work by soldering a few parts here and there. The artist may also opt to use different methods of finishing metal.
3D printing promises to revolutionize the way art is made, just as it has already begun to revolutionize other fields where there has been found a use for 3D printing.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
PrintCountry offers a wide range of replacement cartridges, generic printer supplies, remanufactured and recycled printer inkjet cartridges for various brands like HP.com , Dell.com, Epson.com, BrotherUSA.com, Lexmark.com, Samsung.com, Canon.com and other brands less known than HP, Epson, Brother, Dell like Pitney Bowes, Minolta, Mita, Kodak printers. All brand names mentioned on this page are used for demonstrative purposes only. PrintCountry is not associated, affiliated or connected with. At PrintCountry.com besides offering deep discounted warehouse prices and online shopping offers and promotions for compatible toner cartridges, replacement printer ink cartridges, you can also find printer reviews about the most popular, best rated, newest printers, coupons and promos for other printing equipment manufacturers, do it yourself guides from friendly kid projects using your printer to great gift ideas using things like photo paper and your printers features. Whether you would like to buy your printer supplies online at discount prices, or save a bunch on cheap ink cartridges without sacrificing from quality prints, we hope you will find our website a good resource & guide to your print supply shopping needs.