3D printer will be used to aid educational, science, research, art, and cultural exhibits and experiences
Mimaki USA is proud to work with the Smithsonian to place a Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full-color 3D printer in the Smithsonian Exhibits’ (SIE) studios, located in Landover, MD, and part of the Smithsonian Institution. SIE collaborates with museums and offices throughout the Institution and the federal government to help them plan, produce, develop, and design powerful and engaging exhibits, and produce models for public programs and research purposes.
“We are pleased to be a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s efforts to engage and inspire audiences through the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” said Josh Hope, Sr. Manager, 3D Printing & Engineering Projects at Mimaki USA. “This printer will enable the Smithsonian to use new technologies to produce exhibits in new ways, particularly for creating models and tactile elements that help bring exhibits to life for all visitors.”
The SIE team has embarked on its first project to use the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer, which is to create full color 3D printed models of viruses that are enlarged with great detail for hands-on engagement with visitors in the Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World exhibition currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Future possible projects for the full color 3D printer include:
- Models of collection objects used for hands-on educational activities with the public
- Tactile display elements for low-vision or blind visitors such as raised-line maps to aid with wayfinding
An influenza virus model created using the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, in an opened position. The clear disk that contains the eight purple capsids and the eight yellow RNA strands has been removed from the green envelope.