Rachel Goldsmith

Whilst undertaking my sporadic and inconsistently timed survey of what was happening in my own field of work I was genuinely humbled and awestruck when I stumbled upon the work of Rachel Goldsmith, a New York based artist who works predominantly with a 3D printing pen. Yes, Rachel is also well versed in water based paint and ink but her career skyrocketed through her work with the 3Doodler 3D printing pen, even being commissioned by 3Doodler themselves to produce work for the MoMA design store (Goldsmith, 2012) and is now featured on the company’s artist blog –  Rachel is perhaps the ‘go to’ person when it comes to 3D printer pen art.

Image copyright of Rachel Goldsmith

3Dprint.com‘s Hannah Rose Mendoza was also impressed with Goldsmith’s work as far back as 2014, writing:

Goldsmith’s work takes sketch and pattern making in a beautiful direction and her facility with the medium is clear as she changes the textures and tensions of the strands of quickly hardening plastic while making them look organic and naturally generated(Mendoza, 2014).

Goldsmith is so at ease with the 3Doodler pen that not only the forms she produces appear organic but the material too! I must admit that I was genuinely speechless at seeing Goldsmith’s work and for some time feared that I would never be able to write this post for not knowing what to say.

Image copyright of Rachel Goldsmith

Goldsmith’s control of her pen is now developed to such a level that she is now defining the future of painting, vivid coloured plastic strands are masterfully forged into shapes of almost organic nature with such ease that it is impossible to comprehend how such an object can come into being. Goldsmith manages to create objects that suggest a flow of movement from something so categorically man-made – every piece seems to flow and carry movement.

Image copyright of Rachel Goldsmith


Aware of her influential status, the first lady of 3D printing is leaving no stone un-turned in her exploration of the capabilities and limits of her pen:

“Not only is this still a relatively new medium, but I’m at the cusp of the wave in utilizing it in general, as well as in fine art specifically. I have spent the last few years experimenting, developing and now refining an arsenal of techniques that I can employ to create fine art. I’ve been using a technique a lot which I call “Anchor Pull”. This is when I use the pen to make an anchor, and then drag the melted plastic to create long webs in layers. You can see this in my Kelp series, my Webs, and my Squares series, as well as my more recent Triangles” (Matisons, 2016). 

Goldsmith is even bringing in ‘foreign elements’ to the 3D printing technique, elements that cannot be made with the printer pen alone such as recolouring the plastic with spray paint or goldleaf in order to fully exploit the materiality of the 3D printing medium and deepening the territory in which it encroaches. Such experiments have also seen her paintings come full circle with 3D printed elements inhabiting the canvas space in which they had been freed from with the creation of the 3Doodler pen.

Image copyright Rachel Goldsmith

Goldsmith told 3Dprint.com’s Clare Scott:

the art world needs to embrace the endless possibilities that this new technology presents. Amazing creations are coming down the pipe line and I have no doubt that new ideas will continue to pop-up. I have been crusading for the understanding that the 3Doodler can and should be used for Fine Art (#3Doodler4FineArt)… and my conversation with President Clinton along with my observations of the tool in the hand of other artists reaffirms my belief. Although some contemporary art galleries have already opened their doors to this new medium, I am hopeful that many more will follow suit” (Scott, 2016).

Goldsmith has created the hashtag #3Doodler4FineArt so that other 3D printer pen artists may share ideas and work.

I, for one, cannot wait to see more of Goldsmith’s work!





Goldsmith, R. (2012) Bio & CV « Rachel Goldsmith. Available at: http://rachelgoldsmith.com/bio/ (Accessed: 20 August 2016).

Matisons, M. (2016) Rachel Goldsmith makes fine art by ‘painting in plastic’ using her 3Doodler. Available at: https://3dprint.com/131239/rachel-goldsmith-fine-art/ (Accessed: 20 August 2016).

Mendoza, H.R. (2014) Rachel Goldsmith: Artist in 3Doodler. Available at: https://3dprint.com/29174/rachel-goldsmith-3doodler-art/ (Accessed: 20 August 2016).

Scott, C. (2015) Artist Rachel Goldsmith continues to take 3Doodler 3D printing pen to new levels. Available at: https://3dprint.com/103279/goldsmith-3doodled-flower/ (Accessed: 20 August 2016).


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