Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Showcases 3D Printed Craftsmanship

Cooper Hewitt’s new exhibits include 3D printed pieces from 3DS on display, including (clockwise from top left) a skateboard design showing topology optimization, a custom-designed prosthetic limb, the first hybrid robotic exoskeleton and a stunning acoustic guitar.

3D Systems’ digital craftsmanship is being showcased at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, which recently reopened after a three year renovation.

3D printing is an ‘additive’ manufacturing process which allows objects to be built up a layer at a time from a variety of materials. One of the key advantages of 3D printing technology is that it allows designers to be able to iterate complex and intricate prototype designs at little cost.

Innovative 3D printed products are being featured in the Carnegie Mansion at Cooper Hewitt as part of the the Beautiful Users and Process Lab exhibitions. The 3D printing installations have been highlighted as a basic and transformative element in the process of the conception, design and manufacture of products.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated specifically to historic and contemporary design. The varied collections and exhibitions on show at Cooper Hewitt explore and celebrate over 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity.

3D Systems has exhibited technologies and products which improve sensory capabilities, enhance human potential and also augment the human body. The Beautiful Users exhibition showcases a hybrid robotic exoskeleton which has been developed as part of a collaboration between 3DS and Ekso Bionics. This exoskeleton enables a paralysed person to be able to walk.

The Process Lab provides a hands-on experience for visitors. The ProJet® 6000 production-grade stereolithography 3D printer is being exhibited at the museum, along with 3D printed prototypes and products. The exhibition demonstrates the way in which 3D printing is influencing the manner in which designers produce their prototypes and products.

3D Systems has exhibited a 3D printed acoustic guitar, a prosthetic limb and a complex skateboard design in order to demonstrate the optimisation of topology. A transparent Touch™ 3D haptic stylus is also part of the exhibition, which enables designers to 'experience' their designs physically.

As both a member of the company that invented 3D printing and a trustee of the Museum, it is truly an honour and a privilege to be part of these ground-breaking exhibitions at Cooper Hewitt, our national design museum

Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems

Avi Reichental went on to say: “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.”

A pair of 3D printed scissors, created by 3D Systems, were used at Cooper Hewitt’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday 12th December 2014.

Alexander Chilton

Written by

Alexander Chilton

Alexander has a BSc in Physics from the University of Sheffield. After graduating, he spent two years working in Sheffield for a large UK-based law firm, before relocating back to the North West and joining the editorial team at AZoNetwork. Alexander is particularly interested in the history and philosophy of science, as well as science communication. Outside of work, Alexander can often be found at gigs, record shopping or watching Crewe Alexandra trying to avoid relegation to League Two.

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