3D printing: making the design process soar4 minute read

3D printed cube on computer screen

Technology is taking 3D printing to new heights by appealing to the creative market as well as functional applications such as digital manufacturing across a wide range of sectors. Even though 3D design may cause mixed emotions in the design world, there is no denying the benefits it brings.

3D printing technology produces high quality, reasonably priced, easy to transport design that can be texturized and printed in thousands of colors.

With that in mind, here at PageProof, we are thrilled that our online proofing solution offers a smart approach to reviewing and approving your 3D creative designs.

3D printing is an art in every industry

Traditionally, 3D art brings to mind sculptures like the Great Sphinx of Giza, David by Michelangelo, or The Statue of Liberty by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. The creation process for masterpieces like this took months to years to complete, depending on the size and scope of the project. 

3D printing means an artist can produce original pieces of art by offering a variety of mediums to fit their needs. 3D printers not only print 3D art for museum exhibits, tradeshows, the fashion world and movie props, but also wall art and décor for home and office.

Lamp shade in shape of lotus flower created by 3D printer
A Lotus.MGX lamp, designed by Finnish artist and designer Janne Kyttanen and manufactured by Belgian company Materialise through stereolithography 3d printing

But the application of 3D printing goes further than the arts. Detailed architectural layouts; medical and veterinary models; game worlds; museum replicas; braces and prosthetic limbs; aerospace and automotive prototypes and manufacture of parts. Really any industry you can think of has been linked with 3D printing and design.

The sole of the Adidas Futurecraft 4D running shoe is one of the first large-volume items produced by 3D printing

The design process optimized

The design process of 3D objects can be complicated. From initial sketches, rough prototypes, reproductions of detailed designs, and high fidelity models. Everything to achieve the perfect model and final design.

3D printing during the design process can alleviate some of the pain points.

  • Accuracy: 3D art pieces can be printed to scale as accurately as are the files and images provided.
  • Affordability: using 3D printing technologies, you can order custom 3D pieces for a reasonable price (perfect for replacement parts).
  • Testability: 3D prints are affordable enough to test designs, such as several versions of planned work until final design.
  • Consistency: using modern print technologies, you can easily recreate identical 3D sculptures.
  • Portability: 3D art can be created using lighter materials than what was available in the past, making them easier to transport.
The 3D printed nozzle for the GE LEAP jet engine is made through electron-beam metal sintering, since its tips’ interior geometry, comprising more than 20 parts, was so complex that it was almost impossible to make it with traditional techniques

How PageProof can help

Proofing 3D print designs online is made simple with PageProof. Eliminating the game of emails, feedback, and approvals mean you can efficiently review and approve your designs, and track whether the changes have been made. The benefits are endless but notably include:

  • Huge timesaving – feedback is streamlined with reviewers all commenting on the same proof, at the same time
  • Cost savings in speed – comments are captured online, on one file version at a time. Reviewers receive the proof immediately with no wait.
  • Printing costs are eliminated, clarity gained – digital files are now routed. No more hard-copies with illegible mark-ups.
  • Reviewers are able to interact with the 3D design, turning it to review it at different zooms and eye levels rather than leaving a 2D view to the imagination.
  • Costly mistakes are reduced – everything is clearly tracked, who asked for what changes, what was done versus not.
  • Turnaround times are quicker – designers work from a clear, single to-do list

Conclusion

The possibilities of 3D fabrication are limited only by the imagination. It will enhance creativity and provide new opportunities to open-minded designers, as well as becoming a design instrument of corporations and the public sector. Either way, PageProof can help your aspirations come to life in a smart and seamless process.