Mateusz Makosiewicz, also a blogger at prosumerism, makes an interesting point concerning old expectation influencing new processes, here he is in his own words. Alexander Baloche
There’s an aesthetic common sense attitude towards wood and this could be broke down to “wood is wood”. Which means “hey, what did you expect, wood is wood” and “thank god this is not this sh&#ty plastic, my Papa always said, wood is wood”. Wood is expected to be wood, nothing more and nothing less.
What is expected from a 3D printed model? The funny thing is: certainly not a 3D print. A 3D print is usually expected to be shiny-glossy-smoothy piece of plastic. Why? Because we expect it to look like the thing which we are used to and we generally are not used to 3D printing. It’s not a crime to expect something similar from a completely new process, but it is kind of like expecting the same outcome from a handshake and a punch.
Many talk about the chances of 3D printing to become everything the internet became and even more (industrial revolution and so on). Many talk about the barriers and opportunities of this to come. IMHO one of the main barriers of wide-spread 3D printing is the aesthetics. Because of the fallacy described above. As long as people expect something different from 3D prints, it will stay underground.
That is why right now 3D printing professional and unprofessional communities strive to the get the same aesthetic values from 3D prints as they get with China-made mold creations (notice how I’m not using the word “quality”). Has anyone asked themselves why? When did we start to identify perfection or beauty with shiny-glossy-smoothy? Well wood isn’t… And my favorite part is: we expect from something as beautiful as wood to give splinters which are a mother ‘ucker to get out.
I would say that this urge to compare molding to 3D printing is so strong, that one thing about 3D printing technology’s future that is certain, is the chase for the shiny-glossy-smoothy.
There is a lot more in 3D prints then just that, but people (and that includes me) would have to look a little deeper to appreciate the richness of a 3D print a little more. Wood is again a good example: in aesthetic reception of wood its natural origin is almost so immanent that it’s transparent. We see a little more in wood than what we actually see. Wood might be imperfect, but that’s already counted in.
PLA might not be the new wood yet. But it could be. And this understanding of aesthetic specificity may give 3D printing a little more space to develop.