My natural progression as an artist has always been hand-in-hand with technology – a journey that began with 8-bit paint programs and a menagerie of software tools that helped me push the boundaries of my imagination. Freedom of expression was paramount, and when I discovered the magical pairing of Photoshop with a Wacom tablet, I could articulate my vision in ways I never thought possible. Computer graphics gave me an infinite color palette and the courage to make mistakes. My resources were unlimited, my brushes never dried out and I could explore mixing mediums in previously inconceivable ways.

Evil Larry by cogspa

Yet, even though digital art stretched my imagination into uncharted territories and the computer liberated my wildest ideas, something was missing. With a traditional art background, I derived a great deal of satisfaction from holding the final product – the texture of paint, the warmth of the canvas, the curves of sculpted alabaster were tactile sensations that eluded me in the digital world. Though liberating in so many ways, digital art was also locked behind the cold, hard glass of a computer monitor.

Not anymore. 3D printing has given me the freedom to bring my strange creatures into reality. I now control my creative workflow from beginning to end, ultimately holding my own imagination in the palm of my hand.

Uninitiated artists might assume this technology is too expensive or complicated but I can tell you from personal experience that it's not. Recent developments have made 3D printing much more accessible and affordable, setting the stage for what I'm convinced will be a modern renaissance as more designers and artists start taking advantage of the technology.

And importantly for artists, 3D printing is more than a medium for self-expression; it opens up new revenue streams, career possibilities and entrepreneurial opportunities. It's beginning to take off and already is changing consumer and commercial product development, short-run manufacturing, marketing and merchandising, and altering the landscapes of entire industries. It has a huge role to play in our economic future, and artists are essential to the process. Without our skills and imagination, there will be very little content to feed the coming 3D printing revolution. Your talents have never been more valuable.

This is why I have organized a special seminar track at 3D Printer World Expo to teach fellow artists how to model and monetize 3D print designs. Influential artists like Neville Page, Kevin Mack, Bathsheba Grossman, Robert Vignone, Paul Gaboury and Bridgette Mongeon, along with myself, will show you how to leverage this technology for personal enjoyment and professional gain.

On Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Burbank, CA. you will learn how to:

  • Convert concepts and creative visions into 3D objects
  • Turn 3D scans and photographs into sculptures
  • Use "elevation maps" to transform digital paintings into printable objects
  • Explore multi-dimensional typography and inventive use of 3D printing in graphic design
  • Exchange data between applications to run virtual simulations, create animated marketing videos and make physical objects for customer/client presentations
  • Create compelling online stores and profiles for marketing and selling 3D printable designs
  • Operate 3D printer hardware and software, and much more

All of this content is wrapped in a show floor featuring the widest selection of 3D printers ever assembled under a North American roof.  From 3D printers priced at $300 to much more expensive industrial machines, the full spectrum of 3D printing will be on display, along with a gallery of 3D-printed art, software demos and special exhibits showcasing 3D printing advancements in the medical, automotive and architecture sectors. There also will be academic poster sessions illustrating novel university and research applications, as well as hourly drawings to give away 3D printers on the exhibit floor.