The online mien of Benjamin Nowicki


On the trail of 3D printing


An exhibitors booth at the 2013 Pacific Design & Manufacturing show in Anaheim

3d printing has long been on my radar. The applications for filmmaking are numerous and on obvious. Sadly, 3D printing at the kind of scale required to have a bearing on set design and construction is still very much in it’s research and development phase. The current state of affairs is still very small scale, limited to being used as props or models. But recently I came across some fascinating developments.

On my regular circuit of websites is Which has an excellent catalog of the most current and innovative materials being used in design and construction today. Materia recently held a conference in Utrecht in the Netherlands. I would have love to have traveled to see the conference, but that was not in the cards. I was particularly interested in seeing one of the seminars given by Enrico Dini of D-Shape. The first company I know of employing large scale 3D printing commercially.

There is also some groundbreaking work being done at MIT’s Media Lab.

I searched for any similar events in Southern California, and came across the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show in Anaheim. It was free to attend so I took the drive down to the convention. I spoke with Sy Hussaini of Source Graphics, who delivered an Innovation Brief at the show. His presentation detailed the history of 3D printing, and it’s SoCal roots. He also covered the current wave of consolidation underway in the industry. He reaffirmed the nascent condition of large scale 3D printing.

The future can’t come fast enough for me, I can’t wait to see what Art Directors do with this technology when it arrives. By the way… Isn’t it about time we stopped chopping down South Asian rain forests for our sets?

I intend to continue to reach out to these innovators in an effort to seek some cross purpose, and acquire knowledge of the most current trends.

Keep an eye on this space for updates.


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