Today, December 12th, is a very busy day at the Cooper Hewitt Museum as well as a very exciting day for visitors who have the privilege of attending the museum’s reopening to the public after a three-year restoration period. There has been quite a buildup this year, and as the reopening day neared. In three years of work, the museum has been modernized, remodeled, and enhanced with many new features. Located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is encased in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie.
As the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design, it’s no surprise that they’ve decided to highlight some very contemporary technology that is in the process of making history practically every day — you guessed it, 3D printing — by way of a new lab and a new exhibition — and right down to the 3D printed ribbon-cutting scissors by 3D Systems.
3D Systems is heavily featured in the grand reopening, at the new lab, exhibition, and two workshops geared toward kids. The Museum presents 60% more viewing space to event-goers and begins a whole new chapter for both the venue and its visitors, who have a lot to look forward to seeing.
In the new Process Lab, the groundbreaking technology of 3D Systems is in the spotlight, as visitors can check out the ProJet 6000 and learn about it how it works. Visitors can also see how it affects today’s manufacturing processes and also greatly improves quality of life and health for many with the 3D printing of items such as prosthetic limbs, with one on display. To add some fun to the display, they also highlight what 3D Systems and the technology of 3D printing can do in the recreational sector, with items such as a 3D printed guitar and a 3D printed skateboard on display.
The Process Lab is provocative in a number of ways, beyond just explaining the history and nuances of a new technology. With the latitude 3D design and 3D printing gives to individuals — such as medical personnel in developing countries, or to musicians designing their own instruments and sports enthusiasts making their own skateboards, surfboards, and more — we become a much more robust community of scientists, makers, and artists who can create and manufacture items with sustainability.
As an added bonus, visitors also get to check out the Touch 3D haptic stylus, which lends a tactile element for designing and is extremely useful as an intuitive tool that makes 3D design even easier.
At the Beautiful Users exhibition, visitors enjoy another high-tech exploration, with an emphasis on user-based designs in anatomy. 3DS displays their 3D printing skills in the full glory of robotics with the 3D printed exoskeleton, part of a collaboration with Ekso Bionics, and printed on the proX 500. This is something everyone should see (check out video below), as the 3D printed exoskeleton is currently working to aid paraplegics in learning to walk. More than just an example of science, this is inspiration at the highest level, watching someone experience the gift of walking again.
“As both a member of the company that invented 3D printing and a trustee of the Museum, it is truly an honor and a privilege to be part of these groundbreaking exhibitions at Cooper Hewitt, our national design museum,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “We believe in Cooper Hewitt’s mission to preserve the history of design and to communicate its evolution and are humbled to be part of showcasing how 3D printing is shifting the entire design-to-manufacturing paradigm.”
Two workshops promoting 3D design and 3D printing will be held by 3DS for visitors to the Museum. Kids will be able to put the 3DS Cube 3D printers and Sense handheld 3D scanners to work during the opening ‘Kids and Family Day’ weekend to manufacture cityscapes and space tools, with an introduction to the Cubify platform and curriculum City X.
The Cooper Hewitt Museum was founded in 1897 by industrialist Peter Cooper’s granddaughters, Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt, as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Since 1967, it has been part of the illustrious Smithsonian.
Have you been following the restoration of the Carnegie Mansion and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and/or will you be visiting anytime soon? Share with us in the Cooper Hewitt Reopens with 3D Printing Headlining forum at 3DPB.com.