ART and 3D Technology

We often find that everything that is associated with the 3D world is viewed as technological; maybe as a design product in some cases, but away from art at all times. At 3iDem we think that artwork and 3D technology can be complementary. In some cases, they may give rise to new expressions that have not yet been developed, in others they may be useful for their dissemination. We must keep in mind that technologies are tools and that these are in the hands of artists can lead to new unknown expressions so far. At the risk of looking like pedants, we must first establish that we can understand that it is art, or a work of art.

Art is a constantly evolving being, because it is a living being. Their forms, manifestations and categories also need to be interrelated with the living beings who interpret them. Art itself should be separated from the aesthetic experience, since the vision of a landscape or a bird in the countryside would also be an aesthetic experience, but it is also necessary to avoid considering art as any aesthetic manifestation.

So where are we now ?. The concept of art in the West changed from art subject to rules to the current concept where art would be the production of beauty. Beauty that did not exist before the work and because of the created condition separates it from the things that are beautiful like the landscape or the bird that we have mentioned before.


Leaving aside the theoretical concept of art, we think that the aesthetic experience of what is created defines the work of art. Therefore, we will look at several ways in which 3D technology can serve the art world. The importance of escaping the concept of “fashion” must be emphasized, which means that it is nowadays abused to make sense of the term “3D”. Let’s say an example of a marketing venture where some Japanese coffee shops associate ephemeral art with the cream of coffees. To sell the concept they are called “3D coffee” thus gaining notoriety that they play with the expectations of the public, but in fact what they do is far from 3D.

A proven case of new technology applied to the art world that has helped to enrich it is photography. At the end of the nineteenth century it was an amazing new technique, which merely limited to reproducing reality, but as the technique was experienced and dominated by more and more artists it became recognized as an artistic form more by individuals, galleries and collectors. In fact, in 1910 the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo (New York) was one of the first museums to include photography in the art collection. This implicitly brings us the answer to the question: If you involve technology or machines in the process of creation does this devalue the value of work? Well, we think it is not. Achieving technical skill by artists to assimilate these new tools is just as important as gaining manual skills to make more traditional works such as sculpture or painting.

And on the other hand, limited-series art reproduction with 3D printing technology (in which 3idem is specialized) is not similar to when an artist makes limited copies of a statue with a mold made in the lost wax ?. Perhaps the fear is that the public will not find a piece of art because it is not made “manually”, but this is like comparing paintings to photography. They are different techniques and can be radically different in the results.

Let’s say a sculptor decides to learn how to sculpt 3D sculptures and learns how to work directly with a 3D sculpture design program such as the 123D Sculpt, 3DsMax, or Blender to give just three examples of the many. He can act directly as if it were a block of clay or a stone.

Once ready, you can print it on the material that suits you best, given the versatility of 3D printing. It can even play with colors with printers like the ones we have at 3idem.

Another case is to make scanners directly from the artworks and to make reproductions of them. In this case the artist can work directly with his hands the material that suits him and then the scanner is made to make the limited series. We would come here with a combination of traditional and new techniques.

Beyond these implications, there are current works based on 3D printing that are quite interesting and noteworthy. So, we would highlight works such as those of Eyal Gever ( who creates digital 3D models of objects, simulates violent shocks and choosing a frame from the simulation as one 3D printing. It can really capture moments that only movement gives.

The search for the expression of the displacement of time and space is also proposed by the ART + COM collective in their project “the invisible shape of things past” where by recording the position of a camera at the time of making a recording goes the way of things as captured by the camera, then 3D printing the result.

Other artists make three-dimensional objects from sound waves, seismographic records, or other data that has a certain emotional content. Another approach would be, for example, that of Sofie Khan, who draws on faces and bodies scanned in 3D and prints them by breaking them as if a classic sculpture could be treated (

As we see, experimentation, new forms and trends are being born with 3D printing technology. If you want to experiment you can count on 3idem to print your works, it will surely be rewarding and rewarding !!!