I’ve been getting very excited about 3D printing lately. You might have read my doting on SpaceX and NASA for introducing 3D printing technology into their rocket parts, planning an orbital 3D printer and even maybe a Star Trek-style food replicator.
Last week, during a visit to Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes factory, I was lucky enough to see some 3D printers in action. I was pretty amazed. The printers were being used to manufacture scale car parts for wind tunnel tests, and our guide even explained how they’re shifting some processes to manufacture parts on the actual F1 cars.
I was coloured impressed.
That’s why I, and I think you should to, plan to visit the Science Museum in London soon to see an exhibition that explores the process of 3D printing.
From scanning right through to the production of 3D models, the exhibition from Stratasys UK distributor Laser Lines Ltd features 150 statuettes that were created from scans of a selection of visitors who took part in the 3D scanning workshops run at the Museum by Digital Native Academy throughout August. The DNA team provided Laser Lines with the final 3D scan files required to 3D print the models, which range in height from 5 to 20cm. In total, the exhibition will boast 700 3D printed objects produced by a range of materials including nylon, titanium, sandstone, and many more.
Examples of some ‘3D visitors’
Pippa Hough, Content Developer, Science Museum, said, "3D printing is a hot topic right now and our exhibition aims to shine a light on the latest developments and discuss where the technology may take us in future.
"By displaying models of people in the exhibition, we aim to create a deeper engagement with our visitors. Those who were scanned can feel a physical connection with the exhibition. I hope to see lots of visitors trying to spot themselves once the exhibition has launched."
The Museum is also planning to feature a ‘Pneuma 2,’ a stunning 3D printed sculpture inspired by the human lung designed by the widely acclaimed Professor Neri Oxman. The intricate piece combines a number of different material properties, 3D printed with Stratasys’ PolyJet technology which enables designers to 3D print multiple materials simultaneously in a single model without post-assembly.
‘Pneuma 2,’ a stunning 3D printed lung
"It is gratifying to see 3D printing featured so prominently by one of the world’s great science museums. Everyday we are discovering exciting new applications for 3D printing, touching virtually every discipline and industry, from art and fashion to medicine, architecture and manufacturing," concluded Arita Mattsoff, VP Marketing, Stratasys.
"We hope that many visitors will take advantage of this opportunity to experience this amazing technology which is not yet leveraged to its full potential."
The exhibition is free to visitors and open to the public from Wednesday, October 9th.
More information about the exhibitions is available on the museum’s website.