NAU artist collaborates with computers

David Van Ness 3-D Art
David Van Ness 3-D Art
3-D art by David Van Ness

Northern Arizona University’s David Van Ness teaches his students a fascinating art form that marries creativity to the computer.

Van Ness, coordinator of foundations in the School of Art, uses 3-D printing to make three-dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The process involves laying down successive layers of material—such as plastic—to create an object.

Printers that conduct additive manufacturing were invented around 30 years ago and have been used to create engineering, architectural, medical and constructive models. Just over a decade ago, the technology’s application on the art world started being explored.

Thanks to a recent grant from the NAU Parent Leadership Council, Van Ness was able to purchase a 3-D printer for the School of Art to begin using in beginning-level design courses this fall.

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