A common human desire is to have a personal sense of value. A purpose in life. There is no one answer for what that requires or how it is achieved. Value probably has an infinite number of manifestations. It can be tangible or intangible (emotional).
I have no internal struggle with my sense of value. I am generally comfortable with who I am and what I have done. I do ask myself the “what value?” question when making more than minor decisions. Major decisions are judged on the value it creates.
I try my best to stay on the positive side of the value judgement. I may not always make the “right” decision. When I don’t, I call it a learning experience.
My current life goal is to spend time on being creative and making quality “craft” items that will be my “having lived” legacy for family and friends. Those items need to be of sufficient “value” to endure the test of time. The value can either be emotional or tangible.
I set course a couple of years ago to explore a new “making” system, commonly called three-dimensional printing. At the hobby level, it soon became a major part of my time and effort. It is a very fascinating process to master. I have mastered the process and have made (printed) a considerable number of things.
But I soon realized, most of what I make in on the junk (Junque) side of the value curve. That’s the lowest end of the scale…
I have produced items of value which are accessories to other creative processes and tools that I use. Holders for my wax carving tools for example. Not going to itemize them all but certainly valuable to me. Just not items to be cherished keepsakes.
Three-dimensional printing has proved considerable value in refining my CAD (drawing) skills. But very little value in the Items I have been making. The output material is PLASTIC. Therein lies the quality and value issue.
There is a lot of WOW! value because it is a new high tech process. But the same item made from conventional materials have far more intrinsic value. So, 3D printing has a definite place in my skill set. Just not in producing high quality and valuable heirloom class items.
Decision time. A time to refocus on how and where I spend and create items of quality. 3D printing remains a useful tool. It’s not going away. But…
My focus and time will return to making high value items with conventional materials like wood and metal. Automated machinery including 3D printing is certainly part of the process.
Bottom line: A lost wax cast Sterling silver jewelry pendant far outclasses (more enduring value) than the same design in layered extruded plastic. Plastic is a great choice for the mundane items of everyday use. I see more intrinsic value when plastic is not the primary or sole material.