How are famous museums adopting 3D printing?

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3D printing seemed to have taken over the globe recently. This tendency isn’t going away as technology improves and 3D printers get cheaper. Using 3D printing at museums can give several benefits to tourists.

3D printing is the process of turning a computer model into an actual three-dimensional object. Existing products or fresh designs can be scanned and replicated.

This method can be used in many ways. These range from the aerospace and automotive industries to medical activities. A doctor-approved 3D-printed prosthetic arm from Bristol. 3D printing gets more accessible as technology costs decrease. 3D printers are now more inexpensive than ever online.

How can museums employ 3D printing?

The usage of 3D printing in museums could help them make their treasures more accessible. Artefact replicas can now be made and taken outside museums. This might lead to some incredible outreach efforts. Exhibits can be brought to life via 3D printing. It can provide a more tactile museum experience. This might be a game changer for blind people because they can touch artefacts.

Another use is in conservation. Specially handled pieces can be recreated. This allows for close scrutiny without damaging the originals. Items too fragile to display can be carefully stored while a replica is created. Damaged artefacts can be restored. A fixed model is printed after scanning fragments and digitally reassembling them. Museums can display these side by side to show visitors how the object looked in the past.

Many museums have already adopted 3D printing. Curators are looking into how it might add value to their collections. Here are five instances of museum 3D printing initiatives. These show the new technology’s promise and breadth business.

The V&A in London

The V&A has worked with Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children before. The hospital sees art as a vital part in improving patient experience. It reduces employee and patient stress. In April 2018, the V&A and GOSH Arts launched a new project.

From the museum to the hospital, they used 3D printing. The study involved children in isolation awaiting bone marrow transplants. The treatment limits contact with others. This may be quite upsetting to the youth. Employees brought 3D scans of the sculptures to the kids’ bedsides. Patients can utilise the digital models to create their own designs. The finished goods were 3D printed in the kids’ playroom.

Alex Flowers of the V&A commented on the project: “Taking the museum outside of South Kensington’s boundaries is crucial to making culture and its exhibits accessible to all…

We hope that by introducing creative activities, we may give significant distraction and involvement for both patients and their family.”

The Met in New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has actively promoted digital access to its collections. Visitors can photograph museum artefacts and use them to create digital models. The Met even has a tutorial on their website that shows you how. The message proposes software and links to online courses. They also show you how to acquire a 3D printer or kit and use a 3D printing service.

If you don’t want to make your own scans, the Met’s collection currently includes over 70 3D models online. Examples are sculptures, statues, and furniture. The public is allowed to download and interact as they wish. In their creative process, they can experiment or redesign them. Though most people do not own 3D printers, some companies offer on-demand 3D printing.

Artists have always been invited to interact with and reinvent the Met’s collection. They first allowed painters to recreate masterpieces of art in 1872. Despite the use of new technology, the premise remains the same. We encourage everyone to use our content, which represents cultural history, to create their own creations, the Met said in its online collection introduction.

Science Museum, London

3D printing has already changed the medical industry. Possible applications include 3D printed organs and reconstructive surgery. The Science Museum has acquired some exciting new items for its new Medicine Galleries in 2019.

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