3D Printing Will Help Build The Museum Without Walls

Memory by Daniel Chester French, 1886, Captured by Jonathan Monaghan/CC BY 2.0

Sixty-five years ago, the French writer (and later Minister of Culture) Andre Malraux predicted a Museum Without Walls, noting that photography had become so good that art could be everywhere, available to everyone. He celebrated the "advent of the reproducible image in its ability to carry the ‘revelation of the world of art’ beyond the physical walls of ‘real’ institutions."

I wonder what Malraux would have thought about the wonders of 3D printing. Members of the "makerbot community" recently descended on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to "capture significant works into the digital domain using Autodesk’s 123D Catch, clean up and manipulate the resulting models, and then produce replicas and original pieces of art on our 3rd generation 3D printer, The Replicator."

Now anyone with access to the $2000 machine can print out copies of the classics, chosen by the Met, albeit not at full scale, as the Replicator can only print things the size of a loaf of bread.

Whenever Jaymi or I write about 3D printing, commenters wonder why we are so gaga over machines that just make more plastic garbage. Perhaps it is because they are getting to be really useful, in shortening supply lines, eliminating inventory and now, building that elusive Museum Without Walls.

Found on Gizmodo

Tags: Arts | Dematerialization | Downloadable Design | New York City