You Can Print That?

Design is a brave new world, thanks to the development of 3D printing, writes Jo Stewart.

The emergence of 3D printing technology has ushered in a new age in design and manufacturing, opening up a range of possibilities for local designers, artists and makers. Here, five objects currently being 3D printed in Melbourne.

Walk This Way

As the team behind bespoke footwear brand Preston Zly, design duo Johanna Preston and Petr Zly are beginning to incorporate 3D printing into the shoemaking process.

Petr’s strong background in ceramic sculpture and keen interest in 3D computer design modelling means 3D printing of shoe components – heels, wedges and platforms, for instance – was a logical next step for the Melbourne shoe designers and manufacturers.

“It allows a vast range of expression in form that can be reproduced consistently,” explains Johanna. “We really like the way the form is built up like coil-built ceramics.”

Preston Zly’s range of shoes made with 3D printed components are likely to be on sale in a matter of months.

Floral Tribute

While plastic is the material of choice for many 3D printing projects, one design studio in Brunswick East built its own 3D printer so it could work with clay instead. Lucile Sciallano and Ben Landau from Alterfact experimental design studio have created an eye-catching range of objects made using Southern Ice porcelain, recognised as one of the world’s best ceramic materials. Describing themselves as having “one foot in an age-old world of ceramic production and the other in a very new (but relatively simple) digital technology”, the creative duo’s work can be bought from the Alterfact Studio and a range of Melbourne stockists, including the Craft Victoria online store and Modern Times showroom and gallery in Fitzroy.

Sit on This

Local industrial designer Ryan Pennings explores the possibilities of algorithmic design to create unique pieces of furniture with the help of an industrial robot. Created while undertaking an honours research project as a part of an industrial design degree at RMIT, Ryan’s range of 3D printed Percy stools were made using biodegradable plastic.

Statement Pieces

As founder of Melbourne design studio Convolo Design, Sarah Ceravolo creates bold fashion accessories using computational design processes and 3D printed fabrication methods. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Architecture, Sarah’s interest in architectural design shines through in her body of work. Her range of statement earrings, rings, bangles, necklaces and brooches made from 3D printed nylon are sold via the Craft Victoria website and at various art galleries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

For Art’s Sake

We’ve come a long way since old masters like Michelangelo chiselled into marble to create lifelike sculptures during the Renaissance period. Nowadays, Melbourne artist Scott Selkirk works with a variety of materials to create striking contemporary sculptures. Apart from working with timber and resin, Scott also integrates 3D printing techniques into his artistic process. Exhibiting everywhere from Toorak to Ballarat, his work demonstrates the exciting possibilities 3D printing presents within the art world.

Jo Stewart ( @jostewartwriter) has travelled the world writing on subjects as diverse as pop culture and community issues. Her latest book I Can Get Paid For That? is available now.