The 3D Printing Revolution Celebrated in German Show


(Exhibition view of 3D Printed Designs)

3D printing technology is rapidly revolutionizing many things, from visual arts to industrial design, and from medical engineering to space travel. An exhibition named 3D Printing Revolution celebrated at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, takes a close look at the new manufacturing technology and its implications. “Making a Difference/A Difference in Making” surveys 3D printing’s achievements to date, and aims to convey the huge potential it holds for the future.

Produced by 3D Printing specialist Materialise, and first shown in 2015 at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Materialise, the exhibition also aims to address subjects and issues such as “the use of 3D Printing for the conservation of our past and future heritage, its role in revitalizing lost crafts, its implications as a critical instrument of emancipation and social empowerment, [and] its potential for improving education.” For this purpose, curator Marta Malé-Alemany, an architect and researcher of digital fabrication technologies, has assembled works by both renowned artists, designers, public initiatives and prestigious research institutions, and unknown innovative makers.


(Prototyping lightweight car seat structures using topology optimization and additive manufacturing)

Two main chapters delve into the many aspects of additive manufacturing. “A Difference in Making” sees contributions by designers such as Patrick Jouin, Iris van Herpen, Jan Wertel, Gernot Oberfell, and Daniel Widrig among others, all of whom have already found innovative ways of integrating 3D printing technology into their work.

The “Making a Difference” chapter, on the other hand, explores the technology’s implications for the “Environment”, “Individual” and “Society,” with a wide selection of  3D-printed objects from medical implants or prosthetic devices to automotive and aerospace parts, furniture, and household appliances. While the “Environment” category also presents “projects that use 3D Printing with the specific concern of saving material and energy resources, as well as designs that question how 3D printing technology itself can be more sustainable and environmentally responsible,” the “Individual” section aims to show how additive manufacturing “enables the production of customized objects and parts, based on personal data.” The “Society” section presents a “multi-faceted perspective on the added value of this technology, while provoking inevitable questions.”

“Making a Difference/A Difference in Making” runs through October 30, 2016, at Red Dot Design Museum Essen, Germany. Click here for more information.


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