September 2019

3D Printing and the Arts

We don’t need to tell you about the various different industries and sectors that have benefited from and embraced 3D printing, you only need to take a walk around our website to see the diversity of areas in which the technology is now a major part.

Artists are renowned for their creativity and innovation. Throughout history, art has adapted to changes in technology, be it the earliest cases of painting to modern-day use of computers.

So, it should come as no surprise that the world of the arts has also been quick to adopt 3D printing in a variety of ways.

Visual Art

Perhaps the highest-profile way 3D printing has been used by artists is with visual art. From art installations to sculptures, 3D printing allows artists to create the sort of complex structures that would have been impossible before. As you know, almost nothing is impossible with 3D printing.


Music is another of the arts that have welcomed 3D printing with open arms. From full orchestras using 3D printed instruments to customised guitars, there’s a chance your next favourite album could feature a 3D printed drum kit.


As pioneers of 3D printing props and set pieces used in films, from our work on the original Star Wars film way back in 1977, we know better than most how beneficial the technology is to both film and theatre. As seen in the recent Black Panther movie, among others, difficult-to-make costume pieces are now possible with the use of 3D printing.


Ah, you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Perhaps the most surprising of the arts to adopt 3D printing, dance is making use of the technology to help ballet dancers. Having to spend hours on end using their feet, often resulting in bleeding and bruising, dancers will soon be able to have their feet scanned to create perfectly-fitted shoes made from elastomeric polymer, which is three times stronger than the current shoes dancers wear.

What next?

The array of options for artists using 3D printing are seemingly endless, and this opens the door for even bolder and most innovative pieces of work. And if there’s one thing an artist doesn’t need it’s an invitation to use their imagination to their heart’s content.

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