The Joy of 3D Digital Technology for Artists

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Moderator: Crispin B. Weinberg, President, Biomedical Modeling, Inc. •

Welcome to the panel ‘The Joy of 3D Digital Technology for Artists,’ and thank you to Mary Sherman for organizing this wonderful Conference.

I am Crispin Weinberg and I run a small anatomical engineering service bureau in Boston, about a mile down the road from here. We use medical imaging data like CT scans together with engineering software to make 3D anatomical models for surgeons, dentists, medical device designers and artists.

This is a very exciting time in the development of 3D technology, with rapid changes and new discoveries being introduced all the time. For example, 15-20 years ago, 3D printers were big, expensive machines; almost entirely the province of aerospace and automotive engineering companies. Now you can buy machines for anywhere from a few hundred dollars (for an open source kit you put together yourself) to millions of dollars (for machines that print large parts in metals such as titanium for aircraft engines).

Just to get an idea of your background, how many people have heard of 3D software? [show of hands] How many of you have used it? [show of hands] How many have heard of 3D scanning, like laser or structured light scanning? [show of hands] How many of you have used it? [show of hands] How many of you have heard of 3D printing? [show of hands] How many of you have used it? [show of hands] Great! You’re in the right place. The goal of our panel is to give an overview of the process of using 3D digital technology – 3D design software, 3D scanning, 3D printing – to show how artists use the technology and point to opportunities for you to learn more. If we inspire some of you to give it a try or use it in a new way for your own work, then this panel will be a success!

Each of our five panelists will give a 10-to-12-minute presentation. Without further ado, let me introduce our distinguished panelists.

David Munson of Munson 3D runs a 3D design studio just outside of Boston. He offers 3D design, rendering, animation and printing, with a particular emphasis on architectural and landscape design. Dave will give an introduction to various types of 3D modeling software.

Sean O’Reilly has a 3D scanning and printing service here in Boston called 3D Printsmith, and he will give us an introduction to various types of scanning which can be used to create 3D models. He has done a lot of work with artists – for example, scanning maquettes or prototypes of jewelry for design, scaling and printing. He has also worked with a number of local museums scanning sculptures, ancient Chinese bronzes and even the texture in a Renaissance painting.

Danice Chou is a biomedical engineer and 3D artist who works with me at Biomedical Modeling, Inc. She will present different 3D printing technologies and materials – discussing both their advantages and limitations – and examples of how they have been used by artists both for finished works and for making masters or molds for casting. Biomedical Modeling Inc. (BMI) is an anatomical engineering service bureau located in Boston. BMI produces models of human anatomy using 3D printing and software, primarily from CT and laser scans. While most of our customers are surgeons, dentists and medical device companies, we particularly enjoy working with artists on modeling anatomy and organic shapes.

Bathsheba Grossman is a true pioneer who started using 3D design software and 3D printing to produce mathematical and scientific artworks almost two decades ago. She will give us a picture of the life of a 3D digital artist as well as showing us some of her most recent explorations of technologies such as laser etching.

Esther Bourdages is the president and founder of Eastern Bloc in Montréal. Founded in 2007, Eastern Bloc includes exhibit, lab and performance spaces for the creation and dissemination of digital art. Esther is also an art historian, curator, writer and sonic explorer. Since 2013, Eastern Bloc has hosted residency programs in their lab, so she will bring us back to the underlying goal of TransCultural Exchange’s Conference.