Note: this is part two of our Q&A with artist Jade Crompton. To learn about her new approach to 3D printing, please read part one.
Master’s Candidate Jade Crompton is using SOLIDWORKS and 3D printing to modernize ceramic making. Her work includes developing a new slip casting technique for 3D printing that allows her to create highly detailed pieces. In Part One of our conversation, Crompton discussed her process for creating 3D-printed molds and how SOLIDWORKS contributes to her work. In Part Two, Crompton shares her perspectives on the future of 3D printing, boosting creative energy and advice for pursuing design work.
SOLIDWORKS: How do you see 3D printing evolving in the next ten years?
Jade: I see 3D printing evolving into less of an imaginary technology that people are still not fully understanding or familiar with. I see it becoming more accessible to the public, seen in schools, factories, hospitals and even homes. Within ten years-time who knows where it will be? It is rapidly developing, but I’m hoping that they will have refined the printing of ceramic materials, and for my own benefit realized how to produce a liquid plaster 3D printer (this is something I am going to try and develop in my PhD).
Jade: I am excited by the use of 3D printing in medicine. It will be the most beneficial and appropriate use of 3D printing. If scientists achieve the 3D printing of functioning organs using the patient’s own cells, we will be able to print organs that would not be rejected by the body, and the need for donors would be diminished. It is truly an amazing prospect for society and something I am following closely.
SOLIDWORKS: What would you tell someone who believes 3D printing is a gimmick or passing fad?
Jade: 3D printing is the future of everyday life through product fabrication, food, design, engineering, science and medicine. It will not be going away. Why use a screwdriver when we can use a power drill? Same goes for 3D printing; it will speed up and improve all aspects of life.
SOLIDWORKS: What introduced you to design – is there one moment where you realized that your goal was to become a designer?
Jade: Originally I studied fine art, forensic science and law in college, which was considered a very strange mix. I chose these three subjects for a reason:fine art because I was a creative person from the age of 2; forensics for the curiosity and scientific values; and law for the problem solving and my enthusiasm for learning.
I began producing functional/sculpture-like pieces in fine art during college, which lead me to believe that I was more of a maker than a painter so I went on to do a foundation in art and design where I was able to experiment with materials, and also learn methods of designing, how to do technical hand drawing and design history. Through this course I developed a love for producing functional furniture. It was during this course that I realized that I was born to be a designer and a maker. I would spend all day, five days a week in the studio.
I love to learn, design as a topic or as a career is a constant learning experience that is never-ending, everything needs to be designed in some way whether it be your coffee cup or your car, I have an endless supply of subjects I can have a creative input to.
SOLIDWORKS: What is your favorite part of designing?
Jade: My favorite part of designing is that moment that the design becomes a reality and that I know it will work. It can take me months to come up with a final design idea, produce a mould, cast and fire a product before it is complete. Even then it may not work, so when it does and the public enjoys what I’ve made, I have a huge sense of pride and achievement.
SOLIDWORKS: Do you have any tips for helping people to get their creative energy flowing?
Jade: One thing I do to get my creative energy flowing is to go look or watch something completely off topic to what you may be making or have seen before. My granddad was a taxidermist who worked at Liverpool World Museum, and I used to go there to visit him at work. I was always fascinated by the museum and all the stories behind the exhibitions. Now when I’m starting a new project I visit there for inspiration. Most recently I visited the museum to see its crystal and mineral collection, which has inspired my latest collection. My last collection was inspired by a trip to a rock formation park, so my tip is to get away from the studio. The unexpected can then inspire you.
SOLIDWORKS: What do you plan on pursuing next in your design career? Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
Jade: My plan is to do my PhD at the 3D3 research Centre through the University of West England in Bristol, which specializes in digital design uses and development. Here I want to look at developments in ceramic 3D printing and production, including research into printing in liquid plaster. I am not doing the PhD as a means to end up just teaching. I want to keep my own practice alive andto develop my own skills and knowledge through working with others in a research environment as I love learning.
My advice to aspiring designers is to do always do what you love, don’t let others tell you how to design, or how you should make, you will develop your own way of working, if you listen to others too much you will never be original. Also to keep at it when things get difficult, those testing times will be worth it one day and they make you who you are.