Thursday, 3 May 2018

Artistic Explorations: 3D Design (4)

Recently I started to experiment with creating printing plates with 3D print technology which I wrote about in one of my previous articles here. As I was not entirely happy with the result I wanted to explore this further. When I had posted about my process on Facebook, I was contacted by jewellery designer Elizabeth Armour who also works with this technology and is a freelance teacher in 3D design at Print Studio Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Print Studio at Dundee Contemporary Arts

We met up one day and spoke about our mutual interest in combining 3D print technology with traditional printmaking (intaglio and relief). I showed her my small printing plate and prints and she showed me what she had created so far. I was instantly inspired by her prints which had so much more detailed textures! So I decided to come back another day for a one-to-one session with her.

I first started with getting familiar with software program Cubify Sculpt and just play. It's like modelling on clay but then digitally! Using various features I was able to create different textures.  Then the file was sent to the UP! 3D printer.

The UP! 3D printer at Print Studio DCA

                                                               Video of my design being 3D printed
By using this software I realised you're not able to achieve full control of the design. What you do and see (magnified) on screen is tiny on the actual 3D printing plate! It's very experimental and liberating though to just play and see what comes out of that.

Once the plate was finished it was time to get the inks and scrim out and use the etching press. First I created intaglio prints in brown/black etching ink on damp paper, then I made some relief prints on dry paper in a beautiful brown lino/block printing ink I found there.

Using the etching press for printing off my plate
Intaglio print (left) with 3D printed plate
Intaglio print

Relief print

My production line! © Elizabeth Armour 2018

Thank you Lizzie for a wonderful session and sharing your expertise. I look forward experimenting a bit more here in Aberdeen at Peacock Visual Arts.

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