Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Design in the West, 3D Print in the East?

Bruce Beasley is a prominent American sculptor working today. He has exhibited internationally and is represented in museum collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Using Autodesk software he and fellow artists created digital 3D sculptors which are then scaled up and fabricated, physically, in Asia. 


Beasley was one of several artists who created works of art for The Digital Stone Exhibition. Autodesk software enabled the artists to see and experience their ideas from every angle before a single stone was cut. The digital 3D model was transferred offshore, where it was 3D printed as a prototype. Skilled craftsmen, stonemason's and others then 'scaled up' these models for permanent display. 


The locally printed 3D prototypes enabled accurate rendition of the remote artist's original intentions.  The process was featured as part of an exhibition.


Extrapolate this to manufacturing process transformation and some interesting possibilities open up. Is this any different to contract manufacturing in the electronics industry? 

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