Saturday, October 20, 2012

Neri Oxman shows 3D printing in its full glory

Neri Oxman, professor at the MIT Media Lab, has recently gone on a 3D printing spree and created a beautiful collection of objects that represent the state of the art of this additive manufacturing process. More than that, it is an interesting conceptual probe into a future where we can interweave these sorts of objects more and more with our own bodies, as 3D printing allows a sophistication in design approaching that found in nature. Professor Oxman has shown that now we can produce objects of unlimited geometrical complexity, consisting of different materials that can smoothly transition in terms of properties such as hardness, thickness, or color.

Now the first 3D printers that are interesting to the mainstream consumer have emerged on the market, we will need to see how this democratization of design will turn out. Are we entering a future where everyone will become a designer through trial and error, and even more throw-away objects are produced with these technologies than happened after the plastics revolution, or will people learn faster this time and be more careful in what they create? With this creative power comes responsibility, of course, and it might be that because people are so closely involved in the making process that it helps them taking on this responsibility, just like, say, you take responsibility for the quality of the turkey you make for Thanksgiving; it has to be exquisite. Same goes for creating objects with our 3D printers - let's all take Neri Oxman's work as a good example of the objects to come.

Eight objects of the collection, called "Imaginary Beings," have been included in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou, so it might be worth paying a visit during your next trip to Paris. Also, here is a video that shows you the objects in more detail:

Also check out her personal website, where you can see some other interesting projects she has been involved in, some of them venturing more away from raw art and towards contextualized, embodied product design. A beautiful example is the Carpal Skin glove, that can be made uniquely according to the physiological requirements of each user.


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Rakhi Khatun said...

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