Further evidencing that 3D printing can play a part in a manual craft process rather than simply replacing it, Adam Beane Industries has announced a forthcoming sculptable 3D printing filament.
The material hardens at room temperature but becomes sculptable at 125 degrees F. Check out the video of Adam sculpting a printed dinosaur using hot tools. That low set temperature means that malleability could be restored using a warm oven, hot water, or a hot air blower. Also available in raw block form, Cx5 and Cx5s are premium sculpting materials designed to be used in place of sculpting clays, finish waxes, and prototyping plastics.
This is the type of tool that enables an easy creative flow in and out of the digital world. Perhaps you started out creating your model in a simple iPad app like 123D Creature and then print the sculpture so that you can give it a handmade touch. Or maybe you started with a small lump of clay or toy model and brought it into the digital realm via 3D scanning or by photogrammetry software like Autodesk Memento. Adding a digital step allows the artist to add photo-realistic detail, to scale and work effortlessly at different levels of zoom, and to benefit from the priceless technology of undo. 3D printing can bring re-scaled and detailed iterations back into the physical world again–either towards the end of final fabrication or simply to add a tangible step to improving a digital model.