3D Printing And The Arts

3D Printing can be a part of STEM and STEAM (the A = Arts). Here are some artistic ideas and tools for your school’s 3D printer.

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3D Printing Your Photos - Lithophanes

Lithophanes were first created in the 1820s using porcelain. By varying the depth of the material, you can create a seemingly 3 dimensional black & white image that can only be seen when backlit. Simon Sörensen shows how you can easily create Lithophanes using your existing 3D printer, some white filament, and a free web…  learn more

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Desk Top Mobile Art

This print can be used as a springboard to get students thinking about how they can create their own kinetic art objects.  learn more

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Drawing Extruder

Here's a step-by-step guide to take your students' black & white drawings and convert them into 3D sculpture prints. Your students can create prints similar to The Girl With A Pearl Earring and Rhino Wall Sculpture. The image to 3D model conversion takes just a few minutes, uses all free tools, and requires no hand…  learn more

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Escher Lizards

This print was inspired by M. C. Escher's Reptiles lithograph. As well as exploring Escher's work, these prints can be used to show how simple forms can create a flexible interlocking whole.  learn more

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Girl With A Pearl Earring

The painting Girl With A Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer was the inspiration for this print. Challenge your students to come up with a way of taking their 2D line drawings and converting them into a 3D print like these. (One answer can be found on this page.)  learn more

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How to Do That Cool 3D Printing Timelapse Effect

Here's a way of taking great 3D printing time-lapse videos. It's a bit unorthodox, but it works great and definitely doesn't involve burning your hands. Look for a full resource page covering 3D time-lapse photography later this year.  learn more

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Image to Lithophane Converter

This is the web resource that allows you to convert an image into a 3D printable Lithophane. You could also use this to create things like decorative tiles and columns. Experiment with different print resolutions and printing depths. Just like chemical photography, changing the parameters can change the look of the print.  learn more

Looking for a project to incorporate both STEM and art that will challenge your students?

Have them create a kinetic art item. It can be completely 3D printed, like the Marble Machine, or incorporate 3D printed parts, like hinges, pivot points, or connectors. Makes a great small team project.  learn more

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Rhino Wall Sculpture 2D

3D printed artwork can take many forms, including 2D wall hangings. Here's an example of what you can do when you take a line drawing and convert it to 3D. Click on the by UnpredictableLab link on the page to see more examples of "2D" art you can create using a 3D printer.  learn more

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Smiling Baby Groot

Brian T. from Arizona shows how you can remix 3D files and create new items. There are a number of baby Groot sculptures in Thingiverse. Brian got tired of seeing his baby Groot look sad and found a happy baby Groot. But happy Groot is waving, making it a 3D printing nightmare requiring extensive supports…  learn more

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The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3

We're not sure if this should be classified as an art or a STEM project. The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3 by Tulio Laanen shows how you can can create both art and functionality at the same time and how you can easily print items that would be almost impossible to fabricate any other way.…  learn more

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Turn a Kids Drawing into a 3D Printed Toy

This post by Josh Price goes into more detail on the steps needed to turn a drawing into complete articulated 3D objects with Fusion 360. While has a bit of a learning curve, this type of project should be readily accessible to junior and senior high school students.  learn more

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Turning a drawing into a toy using 3d printing!

Want to do more than just extrude a 3D drawing? Need more control or accuracy? This video by Josh Price shows you the steps needed to trace over a drawing and turn it into into an 3D object using. This method can be used for fun projects, but also for projects where smooth sides and…  learn more

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Vica Illusion Sculpture

This sculpture is pretty much impossible to create using conventional manufacturing techniques. But 3D printing makes it easy.  learn more

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Vica Sculpture Time Lapse

No only are 3D prints intriguing, but watching the process can be mesmerizing. Here's an example time lapse video (no sound). Adding a simple time lapse camera can add a lot of interest to the whole subject. The video can also be an art piece in itself.  learn more

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Wire Printing in Cura 4.0

Chuck shows you how to use Wire Printing experimental feature in CURA 4.0 to create unique pieces. He shows the settings you'll need in Cura 4 and how wire printing works on several 3D printers. Learn how you can make your wire frame 3D prints stronger using extrusion width or line width adjustments. The YouTube…  learn more