Although the possibilities are claimed to be limitless, one of the most difficult things with 3D printing is finding new ideas — truly new ides that can really exploit the potential offered by digital and additive manufacturing. Belgian Unfold Studios has been 3D printing since 2002 with the aim of opening up and exploring new paths to creativity, as well as making it more accessible and understandable to a wider audience. To that end, the company has now transferred some of their experiences into a book, properly titled “Printing Things.” The book is on sale across the mainland EU region now and will soon go global (UK/Asia early May, North America mid-May).
The book features more than 100 projects from various artists, designers and makers exploring a new wave of creative 3D printing applications, facilitated by the unprecedented lowering of barriers into production. At the current rate, 100 projects can easily spawn 10,000 possible new applications so it can be considered a forge of ideas and judging from their previous work, one that can reach and relate – perhaps on different levels – to people who have no previous 3D printing experience as well as those who have been working with the technology for years.
We have covered Unfold Studios’s work before. In fact I had heard about this project from my aunt in the UK, who works with ceramics but knew close to nothing about 3D printing (except that her nephew talked about it all the time). She had read about it and it immediately captured her attention.
“Printing Things” is likely to have the same effect. First because it is a book written with a deep understanding of ceramics based 3D printing and 3D printing in general. Second, because, together with describing outstanding projects, key experts, and the newest technologies, it also delves into the complex topics that these paradigm-shifting technologies bring up such as Empowerment, The Right to Copy, Interface and Interact, Body Topology, The Aesthetics of Complexity, Building Blocks, Exploring Machines and Materials & Crafting New Industries.
“Printing Things” thus aims to address the demands of those who share a love for technology and experimentation, a new generation of designers and creative outsiders that can hardly wait to explore the potentials and boundaries of 3D printing. The race is on for anyone to come up with the services and products that will best appeal to a mass market with a growing sensibility for design. Against this background, “Printing Things” will position itself as an essential guidebook for today and tomorrow’s cutting-edge design professionals, tinkerers and companies.