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3D Printing -is that the end for sculpting?

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Tecumsea, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    Thinking about this in practical terms, if we assume that the digi-sculptor takes more or less the same amount of time in 'virtual putty' as with actual putty, then his fee will be the same -one way or another. The manufacturer will still be faced with the additional cost of printing the master and cleaning it up prior to it getting even a whiff of rubber. So the manufacturer's costs are not going to be reduced - unless he plans a whole series of variations on one theme.
    The chief benefit of these processes is TIME saving. Where I use them in my job (making architects models), there is no doubt they cost at least the same, if not quite a bit more than traditional methods. But the increased costs are not the issue, it's the speed with which we can get the results on stupidly tight deadlines.. We are able to produce in a matter of days what would have taken us WEEKS in the bad old days. It is called RAPID prototyping, after all.
    I reckon that in the present PF market, there are not really anything like the time pressure constraints or volume issues which apply in regular industry. Of course the other side of that coin is that people will use their free time to explore all the possibilities, thereby subsidising the investment required.
    I intend to start exploring the virtual sculpting world soon myself :nailbiting:-
    I do quite like the idea that I might not get so much cramp in my fingers, that I can adjust the hardness without having to wait for it to partially cure, that I can work more or less anywhere, that I can make multiples, mirror things .
    But who am I kidding?
    It's going to take me forever to learn, being of the old fart generation- I daren't even buy a new phone because of the faff of learning how to use it!
    Don't hold your breath...... :confused:
    Ray likes this.
  2. renarts Active Member

    excerpt from an article that was in the Florida Today Newspaper this morning. Odd about the timing of these things sometimes.

    Florida Today Newspaper, article by John Shinal
    The 3D printing technology still has its limits. The fused deposition modeling that 3D printers use to create products in layers results in structural integrity too weak for them to be used in production parts. For example, while some gun enthusiasts are creating custom ammo clips at home with 3D printers, such magazines warp and fail after discharging just 5 or 6 bullets.
    "3D printing isn't going to replace manufacturing of anything thats made with liquid metal poured into a mold, at least not yet." says James Harrington, a former industrial designer who now works as a program manager and liasons the 3D maker community for Autodesk, a maker of design software. "Once you get over 100 (in quantity), 3D printing isn't of much use today.
    Still the technology is revolutionary he says, because "you don't need to have any machine skills to prototype."
    Jamie Stokes likes this.
  3. zodiac Active Member

    Well, that was obvious, 3D isn't for manufacturing it's for building prototypes!!!!!!! DUH!! I always said that and any wanker who prints out a gun deserves all they get. How dumb does one have to be to try and fire a 3D printed gun???? This article doesn't cover what the thread has been about at all.
  4. renarts Active Member

    You missed the point of the excerpt I copied from the article.
    1) The tech still has its limits.
    2) The gun example was merely to point out the short comings of using rapid prototype as a production method with unreliable integrity.
    3)3D isn't going to replace manufacturing any time soon.
    4)The tech is revolutionary in that the need for skills, machine (or in this case modeling) is minimal.
    So yeah, I'd say it had a little to do with the thread on 3D printing.

    Also, the gun itself was not 3D printed, but the magazine was. And you underestimate the stupidity of some people when it comes to guns.
    Einion likes this.
  5. Ray Active Member

    Concerning Renarts’ post, I don’t personally see that much direct relevance to the topic in hand but, I don’t feel any need to criticize or insult him for having a different thought process from my own or his attempt at contributing to the conversation. On the contrary I’m inclined to applaud his contribution for the time and thought it took to make, so thanks Renarts for your effort.

    With his follow up explanation of his thought process I do see more relevance to our topic and find no fault with it for whatever that is worth.

  6. zodiac Active Member

    No I was talking about sculpting figures, not insulting anyone, I know what I'm talking about regarding figurative sculpting both traditionally and digitally, been doing both for many years, also manufacturing and engineering. Trouble is on this forum people are so quick to take offense at the slightest thing the threads go from potentially productive to bloody worthless in a heartbeat. Ray if you don't agree or like what I said that's your problem. Better still why don't you take the time to research this topic for yourself outside of Planet Figure and you'll see why I wrote that. I'm fine I don't need to contribute or share knowledge, I like to but I really don't want to get into shit slinging. Anyone after some minimal research can see that mass production by 3D printer is not viable from a business standpoint. If my post was taken as personally insulting that wasn't my intention. However I can see where this is going after Rays post so I'm done contributing on this thread.
  7. Barke02 Active Member

    Chill Zodiac, don't forget you're on a hobby forum, and you comments may be around for a long time. There is no need to use the term wanker, even if you are a little excitable about the use of this technology. There are a lot of old duffers on this forum who enjoy the hobby their way, and insulting their old backward duffer ways is a bit wrong don't you think?

    Personally I'm a convert, and hope to share a beer with you and discuss further....are you going to Euromilitaire this year?

    Long live stl. files and 3D printers, for they are fantastic!

    Jimbo likes this.
  8. armorer Member

    It is the not only end for sculpting but also the end for painting.

  9. renarts Active Member

    Companies like Envision Tec use a liquid polymer resin process for their rapid prototyping and 3 D printing. This eliminates the layering, granulation and stratification used with powder printed items. The results are a smooth finished product, more suitable for masters for casting. It limits clean up but is considerably more expensive. I'm excited at the prospect and to see where the industry is headed. Once the tipping point is reached, much like the digital photography field, I think you'll see a rapid and quantum development of processes.
  10. zodiac Active Member

    I was using the term wanker because anyone who would print out a gun and try and use it fits that description it WASN"T aimed at anyone on this forum, in case you didn't realize this subject has been in the mainstream news and it was that to which I was referring. Potential criminals using the technology printing out handguns with soft plastic and firing them - dangerous =wankers..ok? You misunderstood me there. I am traditional and digital sculpting wise and love sculpting, it's a passion, especially traditional sculpture. I was an old duffer as you put it, still am I guess and you're right extremely excited about sculpting.
  11. Tonton Well-Known Member

    I thought PF members would appreciate seeing the following:


    It seems that 3D scanning is about to become affordable so even traditional sculptors can now go digital, with all the production flexibility that will give.
  12. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    thanks for this it looks promising, but like many 'affordable' solutions, it looks like the resolution is quite low.
    Don't think I am ready to invest, but I will watch with interest.
    I have just started experimenting with Sculptris, and I am not finding it easy! Probably something to do with old dogs learning new tricks......and it's probably easier if you spend the money on the full Z-brush software, but that will have to wait til I win the lottery!
    thanks again
    renarts and theBaron like this.
  13. RKapuaala Active Member

    I sculpt in 3D and in clay. I can tell you from much experience with both, there is no difference. In 3D sculpting you start with a lump of virtual clay and use the vairos virtual tools to shape that clay into the desired object of subject. 1.png
    I worked on this yesterday. There is still a lot to do, but I started with a sphere that I shaped,,, not the computer.
    There are many advantages to working in 3D that you don't have with the other materials. First off, you can sculpt in 1:1 scale. I'm getting older and as I age so do my eyes. There was time when I could sculpt in 1:32 scale with my naked eye,,, but it is impossible for me to even sculpt in 1:8 scale with my naked eye now. To make matters worse the maginifying lens I used to use destort the image and it was a struggle to keep symetry under those conditions let alone proportion.
    Another advantage is no matter what happens during the mold making process, I will never loose a sculpt. It is preserved in a perfect 3D world ready to be resurrected and not just in one scale, in many.
    I see it this way. To the purist that argue that using technology lessens the importance of the object I want to remind you that , conventional sculpting tools and materials used today are all technological inovations. Even bronz and cooper were a far cry from the tools that the orignal sculptors had at that their disposal. Stone and bone and wood were all the original sculptors used. I wonder if they turned up their noses to their stone age brethren when cooper and bronze were introduced?
    Jamie Stokes and Diegoff like this.
  14. theBaron A Fixture

    Not an apt comparison. The caster needed the same skills that the sculptor had, if he wanted to sculpt the master that he wanted to cast. I appreciate what you say about needing the same skill to sculpt by hand as by computer, but ultimately, someone with no manual skill would be able to produce a 3-D sculpture, using digital technology that then drives a molding machine, while he wouldn't be able to take a lump of clay, or some other raw material, and shape it himself.

    However, in saying that, I'm not saying that 3-D sculpting technology is bad, or it means the end of sculpting by hand. I do agree with those who've posted that it's interesting, but its cost is still out of my reach, and even if it were, I don't think I'd need to invest in it. It would need to be really, really cheap, or at least, it would have to cost no more than the tools and materials cost me now.

  15. RKapuaala Active Member

    It is a valid comparison. Technology changes and with it so does the sculptor and the materials that the sculptor can use. There were no 'casters' in the stone age. and the skills to cast an object are quite different from sculpting. I do both so believe me, I know they are different. You don't need to sculpt something to cast it. You can cast someone elses sculpt, or you can cast some object.
    How can someone with no manual skills produce a 3D sculpture,,, how? If you mean they could scan an animal or a person with a scanner and then have them printed, then yes, they can do that now and do it now. That's not sculpting though its called scanning and reproducing. People have been able to do that for over a century now since the invention of the pantograph, they can copy 2d and 3d objects an reproduce them in various sizes or the same size as well.
    3D sculpting is practically free now. There are a lot of free open source aps that when strung together make a very good tool for 3D sculpting. Printing smaller figures in the highest resolution material that are about 54mm scale costs around 14.95 US dollars. Granted, I can get a lot of clay with that and make other figures that size, but these are finished products that are perfect prototypes for casting after you clean them up a little.
  16. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I think Brad means that a person with no manual sculpting skills, could if proficient with the software, sculpt 3d.
    I tend to agree with his statement, the same as a sculptor who can use tools and putty may not be able to use software so there is a vast difference. As brad mentions a person who has never possibly handled anything manually or touched clay, could possibly sculpt 3d providing he could identify structure and form etc and replicate it.

    It is the same as a musician/composer who plays a live instrument and a composer who knows what he wants, cannot play a note but can replicate and produce it through a computer.

    The basics required for music theory, form, structure are the same but the process is completely different with one requiring a manual skill ( the playing of the instrument) to actually produce the finished piece, the other relying and only needing a technical skill.
  17. RKapuaala Active Member

    Have you actually used any of the software? It isn't as easy as you say. I know, it has taken me years to get a handle on and I started 3D sculpting in 1994.
    My first sculpts were in clay and play dough, I graduated to wood and then tried stone, but never mastered it. 3D is just another medium. Poly clays are much easier to work with than stone or wood. Is someone who works only in clays and poly clays and wax less of a sculptor than someone sculpts in stone or wood?
    Most of the folks that I know who are good at synthetic music were already good at another or multiple instruments. Music that lacks those deciplines also lacks the quality of synthetic music created by true musicians.
    You will find the same true for 3D sculpts.
    I think before you make such broad statements about a medium, you really need to try and use it.
    Merryweather likes this.
  18. pokrad A Fixture

    From my point of view RKapuaala is right. My first attempts were actually in 3D, and honestly, I could not do ANYTHING with the software.
    All my life I'm dealing with the software and computers (as a programmer) , so I did not have any problems with the technical skills. But I had another problem: I did not know how to sculpt !!!
    Then "discovered" polymer clays, and started to learn. Few years later, got back to the 3D software, and somehow this time forms started to shape under my mouse.
    Here is one of the first sculpts I did back then:


    Ok, I know, it is not very good digital sculpt, but honestly, my skills are more or less the same in front of my computer screen or with the polymer clay.
    Even today, my 3D sculpts are as bad as my polimer clay sculpts ;)
    In other words: if You do not know how to sculpt, You will not get anything from the software...
    Scaning and reproducing is another story - there You could go with technical skills only - scan - clean - print...
    Merryweather likes this.
  19. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter


    Please tell me where I have said it was easy or my broad speculation.
    I was actually confirming that both methods require you to know your subject and be able to replicate it, by whatever means.

    My comparison was to show that both produce results, one manually the other using technical means and I actually stated that musical disciplines are required in both fields, structure, form

    I did not say anyone one better than the other and there is no need to defend your chosen method to me, as said, I did not state any method including stone and wood carving was better than the other and I certainly did not mention sculptors being any less compared to any other.

    While I prefer the traditional method, as mentioned in previous threads, there will be generations to come that grow up with the 3d medium and will no doubt succeed having only used this without the need to learn on polymer etc. As you say it takes many years to know the 3d process and to use it successfully and probably why the younger and upcoming sculptors will take it to the next level.
    It was a constructive comment stating merits and did not expect it to start a defence as I myself am quite impartial.
  20. pokrad A Fixture

    I said this few times before, but in case You missed it: Blender is open Source and free software and it has a really wide set of tools that are not that much worse than the Z-brush. Maybe it does not have all the features Z-brush does, but it is VERY POWERFULL tool:

    Merryweather likes this.

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