Some artists hold their processes close to their vests (where did that expression come from? Who wears a vest anymore? Sorry – mind wandering ….).
I have a large and active YouTube channel with more than 450 videos in which I share metal fabrication and 3D-printing tips. I also have held many events for other artists at my studio and at my home, where I have my 3D printers (the studio is just too dirty – I make dirt there!). I’ve even held events for other artists at my art shows.
So when the Arizona Artists Guild asked me if I’d do a program for the organization’s sculpture group, of which I’m a member, I was glad to do it.
But this time, I decided to do it a little differently ….
In the past for 3D-printing events, I’ve started a print on my Cerberus 250, my desktop deltabot printer, timing it to finish while people were still present. People always want to see it running – they often say it wasn’t what they expected! – and I figured they’d enjoy that fulfilling moment when the printhead lifts, and the piece is complete.
This time, though, I decided to explain the process of how I create my sculptures – from concept, to CAD, to slicer, to host, to printer – then start the print. I used my 8-foot-tall Cerberus 3D Gigante 3D printer, so it was easy for everyone to see how it works.
Everyone was definitely fascinated by the process. As sculptors, they had no problem thinking in three dimensions. The computer program was somewhat daunting to some people, while others are using CAD programs like Rhino, too.Â We also discussed the various materials we can now print in, and how 3D printing is being used in other industries and for other applications.
I think everyone was excited about the possibilities of this nascent process with its incredible potential, whether it is printing body parts in biomaterials, houses in concrete, or parts that we download plans for and print in our own homes.
But the moment they were all waiting for was when the print started. It wouldn’t finish until the next morning, more than 10 hours later, but even the start was, to everyone there, a culmination of everything we had talked about.