3D printing has great purpose in this world. Many important things are happening. Lives are being saved. We are exploring space and taking 3D printers with us. The manufacturing world is being labeled with new words, such as ‘transformed,’ and ‘revolutionized.’ Great things are happening everywhere though, from the most monumental and necessary places to other areas that have been just as important since man walked the earth.
Art and photography have experienced a lot of new options since 3D printing arrived on the scene, and 3DPhotoWorks, a company out of Chatham, NY, is using the technology to their own devices for producing 3D tactile fine art prints. What that means is they can take your own files–or your photographs–and convert them to a 3D print, including texture. These give a whole new level to the piece though, and allow the blind or visually impaired to have an extremely fulfilling experience, especially with the addition of sensors embedded within the images allow for an auditory experience. As the viewer touches a spot, the recording describes exactly what’s taking place at a given coordinate.
“My team has developed a powerful new solution,” says John Olson, co-founder of 3DPhotoWorks. “Our prints have width, length, depth, and texture.”
“Using their fingertips, the blind experience our prints through tactile feedback. This feedback creates a mental picture which allows them to ‘see’ beyond, often for the first time. When I use the world ‘see,’ that’s their words–not mine,” says Olson. “They told us how this would help to level the playing field between the sighted and the blind.”
Enjoyable for everyone, this is however a stunning innovation that can be experienced with the eyes, ears, and the fingertips. These seriously technologically advanced and enhanced pieces of art and photos in 3D are available in sizes up to 60” x 120” x 1.75” in relief depth. Available as topographical maps and signage also, their works have been used for a variety of well-known clients, like NASA, Kennedy Space Center, and Cabela’s, and have been featured in numerous exhibits and displays.
“Our process brings your product forward, separating it from background clutter, focusing the viewer’s attention where you intend it,” says the team.
3DPhotoWorks produces all sorts of 3D artwork and photography for museums, marketing firms, and retailers, as well as enhancing themed environments with ‘photo realistic reproduction.’ Their process allows for subjects and characters to jump out of the frame in 3D, almost as if they are entering the viewer’s space.
What are your thoughts on interactive art that allows for more than just one of the senses to be fulfilled? How do you see 3D printed art and photography of this sort as changing enjoyment and appreciation for those who are blind or visually impaired? Would you be interested in using any of the services this company provides for making photos and art into a 3D experience? Discuss in the 3DPhotoWorks forum thread over at 3DPB.com.