As more world class artists and designers incorporate 3D printing technology into the fabrication of their work, museums and galleries all over the world are starting to take notice. Recently the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York, one of the world’s most famous museums, kicked off their 2016 gala with an exhibition that featured 3D printed clothing. That is most certainly one of the most high-profile examples, but 3D printing is becoming an important part of the art world and museums looking to attract new visitors and guests are starting to bring in and featuring 3D printed artwork of all kinds. There have recently been several high-profile 3D printed art accessions by prestigious museums, including MoMA in New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum in London, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and MAK in Vienna.
Because industrial-quality 3D printers are still quite expensive, many modern artists are teaming up with 3D printer manufacturers to produce their work. Companies like Stratasys are more than happy to help artists create new and exciting things for both the chance to be part of a piece of art that may be around for decades, and to generate mainstream press that shows off what their machines can do. Last year Stratasys helped MIT professor and architect Neri Oxman create the amazing Gemini Chaise Lounge. Gemini is made from a 3D CNC milled wooden frame with a 3D printed, multi-material, multi-colored skin inside of the womb-like structure. Stratasys recently announced that the chaise is being acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for its permanent collection.
Oxman’s Gemini lounge was designed in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter and Stratasys closely collaborated with them on the 3D printed skin which was printed on a Connex3 multi-material 3D printer. The lounge was designed to be a semi-enclosed environment that would be free of external-stimulation and shaped to enhance vibrations that can be healing to the human body. The biologically-inspired 3D printed skin that lines the interior of the lounge is a series of knobs or bumps that offer a comfortable cushion that was designed to support and relax the body. The knobs also absorb and deaden sound, offering even more isolation and comfort.
The 3D printed skin was printed using various combinations of three different advanced materials and several different colors to create its unique look and feel. Stratasys used the Connex3 triple-jetting technology to combine three base 3D printing materials into entirely new materials. They combined the rubber-like TangoPlus material with the rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta materials in multiple shades of reds, yellows and oranges to create the skin, which has a total of forty four individual material properties throughout it. The various materials, shapes and textures of the 3D printed skin create a vibrational acoustic effect that enables the lounge to have a quiet, calming environment.
You can learn more about the Gemini Acoustic Chaise Lounge here:
“No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process. This makes Stratasys color, multi-material 3D printing technology very compelling for artists. And that’s just one influencing factor in the recent growth we are seeing in museums advocating 3D printed artwork. We believe that the technology has substantial cultural impact and expect it to have a significant influence on buying habits and manufacturing industries. As museums strive for public engagement with art, this progressive technology provides an important cultural reference, which should be celebrated,” explained Stratasys Creative Director Art Fashion Design Naomi Kaempfer.
This isn’t the first collaboration between Prof. Oxman and Stratasys that was acquired by a large museum recently. She also collaborated on the Anthozoa: Cape & Skirt designed by fashion designer Iris van Herpen, along with Professor W. Craig Carter that was recently added to the permanent collection at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MoMA in New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum in London and MAK Vienna have also recently incorporated 3D printed art and fashion created by Prof. Neri Oxman and Stratasys into their permanent collections in 2014. Primarily pieces from Oxman’s Imaginary Beings: Mythologies of the Not Yet collection. Discuss this article in the 3D Printed Chaise Lounge forum thread on 3DPB.com.