It isn’t always appreciated how useful digital mediums are for creating physical forms of art, but I will briefly describe some common uses here. This is just a general overview but I hope it is interesting.
Prints, Stickers and Card Making
Artists have been turning their digital art files into real world prints, cards and stickers for many years now. This is a very accessible way to get your digital art into the real world whether it is in raster or vector format.
3D Paper Models / Foldable Material and Plushies
The use of 3D software can be employed to make printable patterns for 3D paper models or fabric toys. UV Unwrapping is a handy skill to learn if you would like to try this out, or there are specialist software and add-ons available to help with the process.
Specialist software can help turn artwork and designs into embroidery files which can then be sewn out on electronic embroidery machines.
There is software you can use to convert or create digital art which can then be printed out as cross stitch patterns.
E-Dies for Appliqué and Crafting
Vectorised and scanned line artwork can be converted into formats compatible with cutting machines such as the Brother Scan and Cut which can then be used on a wide variety of materials.
You can get your digital designs made into rubber stamps.
Pin badges and enamel badges can be made from digital artwork.
CNC and Lazer machines
Many industries and artists employ the use of digital art files in creating work on CNC Milling machines, and lazer cutting machines. CNC machines can create 3D carvings and lazer machines generally create flatter cut out designs.
3D artists can get their work into the real world with the use of 3D printers.
Materials range from polymer based hybrids (plastic mixed with other materials), ceramics, food, paper and lost wax casting.
Digital Art for Experimentation and Presentation
3D, drawings and designs are commonly used in the landscape and architectural industries. Many traditional painters now do sketches and colour tests digitally before committing paint to canvas.
David Hockney for example, discovered that using digital art helped his creative process.
The Other Side of the Coin
Physical art and design can also be turned into digital art.
Book Reading List
Here is a selection of relevant books I found looking on Amazon.
3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling: Bridgette Mongeon
Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship in the New Industrial Revolution: Lucy Johnston
Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers: Ann Marie Shillito
3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers: Stephen Hoskins
Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age: Faith Kane and Kerry Walton Nithikul Nimkulrat
Digital Modelmaking: Laser Cutting, 3D Printing and Reverse Engineering: Helen Lansdown