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  1. RamblinDan
  2. 3D Printing
  3. Sunday, July 28 2019
As sole proprietor of KautzCraft Studio, I get to make all the decisions on what we do and what we make. I have been wandering in the proverbial mental desert looking for marketing ideas from within my creative desires and abilities.

The silver casting will continue as it has, on a limited special edition production. In my heart I have no desire for mass production or any kind of competition with the major artists and production silver jewelry companies. It is not a major revenue source.

What I do is my personal art. Other people who see and like what I do, occasionally purchase what I can make. It’s a personal relation when you know the person who has made something you like.

In the past two years I have spent a lot of time with another interest. The reason this website exists. It’s the production system for making things from plastic materials called three-dimensional printing. It been called the biggest manufacturing process since the assembly line.

That’s where I have been having a problem. It is a manufacturing process and not a craft. The craft comes from the vision and the design, and through the necessary skills of three-dimensional drawing with CAD (Computer Assisted Design) (and drawing). The “making” is then a manufacturing process of a machine. I have humorously referred to a lot of the “stuff” I printed as “Plastic Junque”.

But many people LIKE that kind of “Junque”.

I can see there is something more I can do with three-dimensional printing. It’s a perfect process for the base components of limited-edition production of collectables. Perfect items for KautzCraft Studio.

Quality three-dimensional printing is not about mass production. I have made items that take up to a full day to print. People and/or companies that use 3D printing for production, run dozens, maybe hundreds of printers at the same time to achieve volume of production.

A piece of fine pottery is not appreciated for the clay that was used to make it. It is the design of the item and how that design is presented beyond the material from which it is made. The clay is important of course, but not the specific material details.

My opinion of plastic crafted products has changed since my comparison to pottery. The item design and function can overcome any underlying cheap material bias. It’s not the material that is cheap. It’s a poorly executed (flimsy) product.

That’s where I will be taking the art of three-dimensional printing. Not the fact that it is plastic and made by an extrusion machine. The machine is simply a necessary tool, like a glue gun.

I have printed small model evergreen (Christmas) tress from transparent plastic and installed tiny “pixie” battery powered lights inside. People loved them! The process to make them wasn’t critical to their attraction, although it was known they are made from plastic and had been 3D printed. They just looked “cool”!

I spent months mastering resin 3D printing to make small one-time master models for silver casting. They are destroyed in the process of investing for casting.

I realize that the printed model can also be preserved and become the basis of the finished craft Item. The lighted Christmas trees as example.

Some people are 3D printing fantasy figures and hand painting them. They become valued collectables. The printing process was just one step in the process.

Perhaps a series of lighted houses for a Christmas Village, new editions released as produced. My spouse once had a huge collection of simple painted wood houses. It was a collection craze that faded but it had quite a run at one time.

New ideas are forming. More to come. It’s likely there may be a new section in KautzCraft Studio dedicated to items produced with quality 3D modeling and printing. Probably collectable items, viewed for what intrinsic attraction they have, beyond the focus of the print process itself.

The printing is a means to get to the end but not the identity of the product itself. The answer to my initial question, in my opinion is NO. Three dimensional printing is a tool, not an art or craft.
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