Thursday, May 17, 2012

3D Printing is a New Paradigm Comparable to the Gutenberg Press


3D printing technology is the new frontier of digital fabrication. Designers can create an object on the computer and then print it out in a tangible 3D form. It allows a greater range of visual forms because one is able to "grow" a form rather than fabricate or put it together. 3D printing is most often an additive manufacturing technology combining design with material science and computer science.

True paradigm shifts are rare so the comparison of 3D printing in 2012 to printing texts with moveable type developed by Gutenberg in the 1440s suggests a big revolution. Neri Oxman (left), from MIT's Media Lab, constructs forms (right) using 3D printing technologies (along with colleagues Joe Hicklin and Craig Carter and the help of Objet and Connex). She believes the comparison of the importance of 3D printing to Gutenberg's printing press is justified. She says that the impact 3d printing will have on making in the 21st century is comparable to the effect that the printing press had on reading and writing, beginning in the mid 15th century.

Watch this video of Neri Oxman talking about 3D printing and her new show of 3D printed objects at Centre Pompidou in Paris.