The subject always comes up when you mention 3D printing and art in the same sentence.

“Is it art if you printed it on a 3D printer?”

The answer is another question: “Is photography art?” Which leads to the realization that 3D printing, like a camera, is just a tool. Sometimes it makes art, and sometimes it doesn’t. That seems pretty simple.

As I work with 3D printing, though, I realize that there is more nuance to this question.

Lately I’ve been working on a series of 3D-printed sculptures. I will be offering them for sale, and they are clearly in a different category than original artwork that is created by hand.

Or are they? Again, the answer isn’t so obvious.

Yes, once I get my forms printed the way I want them, I will be able to print multiples. But right now, I’m still playing with materials, sizes and construction methods, because there are a number of ways to create the structure.

So at this point, every piece is unique. That means they aren’t production pieces, like photographic or fine art prints, or even bronzes. Someday they will be, but right now, each piece I create is an individual piece of art created with a tool called a 3D printer.