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3D Printing: Joshua Harker Interview

3D printing is not just buzz; it's happening. This interview with inventor, sculptor, designer, imagination architect, artist and troublemaker Joshua Harker discusses the 3D printing revolution

3D printing is not just buzz; it's happening. This interview with inventor, sculptor, designer, imagination architect, artist and troublemaker Joshua Harker discusses the 3D printing revolution

3D printing is not buzz, it is whats happening. Inventor, sculptor, designer, imagination architect, artist and troublemaker Joshua Harker has his finger firmly placed on the pulse of the emerging 3D
printing technology.


Im a 21 century artist, using 3D printing and associated technologies as my medium, says Joshua, but really, hes just being modest. His Crania Anatomica Filigre project, a gorgeous ornate 3D-printed skull, was Kickstarters top-funded sculpture project of all time and has become an icon of the consumer 3D printing world. Hes basically the Spartacus of 3D printing revolution.

Having been one of the first artists to use 3D printing to bring extraordinary sculptures to the world, Joshua Harker has the valuable insight and (more importantly) the intuition to predict the direction that 3D printing revolution is
going to take.

Joshua Harker's trademark skull has helped make him one of the most recognized artists in the field of 3D-printed sculpture

Joshua Harker's trademark skull has helped make him one of the most recognized artists in the field of 3D-printed sculpture

Joshua worked as a commercial sculptor and designer in the toy, invention and design, special effects, and product development industries, but he identified himself as an artist since the early age and sharing his vision with a keen audience has become the primary goal in 2008 when he left his boutique design and development firm to return to art.

My art is about pushing the limits of form an exploration into what can be made and how to accomplish it. A perfect storm of software, technology and materials engineering all came together that now allows me to create my work 3-dimensionally. This is where 3D printing comes in and shakes up the worlds senses.

3D printing is not hype or buzz, it is whats happening now, insists the pioneer of 3D-printed art and sculpture. The traditional way of communicating, exhibiting and selling art is profoundly changing and I intend to embrace it.

Although the field of 3D printing is becoming more and more populated, as hundreds of new start-ups, artists and business visionaries strive to claim a chunk of the growing market, the threat of competition to someone like Joshua is almost non-existent.

Joshua Harker's 3D-printed sculptures have appeared in countless publications and press worldwide

Joshua Harker's 3D-printed sculptures have appeared in countless publications and press worldwide

Harkers collection of the unmakeable technically complex tangles is the manifestation of the capabilities of this medium, however a risk that Harker sees in the mainstream adoption of 3D technology is the possibility of getting stuck with a copy of a copy of a copy. Many of us are doing different things, but much of it is mediocre. I see a lot of the math-based, parametric and algorithm-generative stuff that tends to all look the same.

When asked about the future of 3D printing technology, he breaks into a here-it-goes-again grin: It changes so fast that we can hardly predict what will happen in a couple of years. Besides the ground-breaking applications in medicine, I believe it has the potential to make us more independent and to free us from this provider/consumer product grid. It will move more firmly into the manufacturing sector from the design realm that its in now. I expect further developments in weaponization as well. It will be adopted by an increasing number of industries as well - fashion, construction, food, pharmaceuticals, etc. I see haute couture becoming increasingly accessible...personalized, custom-fitted everything will become the norm. It's up to us to make use of it in a productive and responsible way rather than building guns, drones and garbage... It's all about vision.

Joshua Harker's art touches on abstract neo-surrealism and is invariably contemporary

Joshua Harker's art touches on abstract neo-surrealism and is invariably contemporary

With the advent of 3D printing technology, we are able to do things that have never crossed our minds before and that is fantastic, yet Harker thinks the medium is not necessarily for everyone, as its just a tool. Having broken into the industry through a crowdsourcing platform, the artist believes in the power of community that 3D printing creates by allowing us to participate more directly in the way things are created and used.

Thanks to the advancements in technology, his visions are now able to be realized sculpturally and shared through social media and such platforms as Kickstarter with a much wider range of people than if it was confined to a
private gallery.

Joshua Harker's Kickstarter project reaped 955 backers and over $77,000 USD

Joshua Harker's Kickstarter project reaped 955 backers and over $77,000 USD

Paradoxically, Harker confessed he doesnt own a desktop 3D printer and doesnt really need one! A bike mount was the only thing hes ever tried to 3D print. Yet, given the amount of artsy project ideas cooking in his head, it is no wonder the artist spends more time reshaping and rethinking the reality than dealing with the not-so-important daily stuff. I easily have 10-plus years of content and I add new ideas to that every day, Harker said. And we are too pleased to hear that to question his rather sluggish uptake of home 3D printers.

When it comes to judging other designers work, Joshua relies on several criteria, but, first and foremost, it is innovation that captivates him.

Joshua Harker was recently a judge on CGTrader's Home 3D printing challenge.

Related links:

Visit Joshua Harker's official website
Buy Joshua Harker sculptures
Learn more about how to buy and sell models on CGTrader
Discover more artists like Joshua Harker in 3dcreative magazine

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