Making it Real: A 3-D Exhibition of Print Ready Projects

Once you are real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always. ~ Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Located in Toronto, the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) is also known as Canada's University of the Imagination, a moniker it has earned through its emphasis on visual, arts, unique design programs and the 'education of the imaginations' achieved through the combination of studio-based learning and critical inquiry. Making It Real is one example of collegiate initiatives designed to transform cultures and global economies by harnessing the diverse creative forces fueling the burgeoning power of the Age of Imagination.


3-D Ball of Twine: Source: Pinterest.com3-D Ball of Twine: Source:


What is the Making It Real Exhibit?

The motivation behind all of the exhibits at OCAD including 2013's Making It Real's showcasing of 3-D print-ready objects is to produce an upsurge of imaginative talent that will revolutionize how Canada  functions, constructs, designs, problem-solves and lives. The Creative Applications Network (CAN) is a partner in this innovative exhibition featuring jewelry, products, sculptures and any unique object design. The three members of the jury consist of Arthur Hash, an instructor in the Metal Program at the State University of New York, Greg J. Smith, a Toronto-based designer and researcher and Jessica Rosenkranz, who is the Creative Director and co-founder of Nervous System, a unique design studio situated at the crossroads of science, art and  technology.


3-D Printed Snowflake: Source: find3printer.com3-D Printed Snowflake: Source:


Who are the participants of Making It Real and what is expected of them?

Participation is open to students, professionals and creative individuals from all over the world who work in all aspects of small-scale digital design and fabrication. Requirements demand  that all entries consist of 3-D print-ready objects that utilize additive manufacturing processes and materials and they must be made presentable with minimal post production. In the website's own text: "Objects will be submitted electronically and 'made real' locally using a variety of 3-D printing technologies that take maximum advantage of direct digital manufacturing."

Last year's  exhibition was slated for a duration of  two weeks, and wherever possible, selected entries  were produced locally. However, some objects were selected for production in real time, using 3-D printers that were installed as part of the exhibition.

Making It Real 2014


3-D Printed Sculpture: Source: Michael Printed Sculpture: Source: Michael


Presented in January of this year, the Making It Real Showcase of varying 3-D printing technologies  under the umbrella of Digital Promises, was presented at Artscape's Triangle Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Jesse Jackson at the Claire Trevor School of Arts UC Irvine and Greg Sims at OCAD University co-curated the exhibition. Artist, designers and crafts people from Canada and all over the world presented their works, which collectively represent the quintessence of the fusion between art, design and technology.

Artists featured at this innovative exhibition include: Arthur Hash, Adrian Bica, Paul McClure, Rob Southcott, Ian  Devenney, Jessie C. Jackson, J.C. Karich, Heather Montgomery, Brian Murawski, Sean Grounds, Gregory Phillips, Greg Sims, Ben Dixon Ward, Stacklab and Scott Eunson.


According to Jessie Jackson and Greg Sims: "Making It Real brings together the works of artists and designers from around the world that take maximum advantage conceptually, procedurally and materially of direct digital manufacturing technologies." 3-D printing is as close to wizardry as the modern world can yet contemplate in the sense that objects are literally generated 'out of thin air.' But it is not magic that propels this exhibition; it is, rather, how creatively and expertly the expansion of technologies are utilized before, during and after the printing process. Objects may vary in their applications, but in each and every instance, the makers have spawned objects that would not  and could not have been fashioned any other way. 

Making It Real is real because its essence comes from an investment of time, knowledge, inspiration and love.