Dec 10, 2015 | By Benedict

Back in March 2014, we introduced readers to Professor Neri Oxman’s Gemini, an acoustic chaise with a 3D printed skin produced by Stratasys. That stunning object, which was designed to replicate the tranquility of the womb, has now been acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection, Stratasys announced earlier today.

The Gemini chaise, designed in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter and Stratasys, is the latest in a series of high-profile 3D printed art acquisitions by museums worldwide. The last few years have also seen notable works with 3D printed elements purchased by MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum London, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and MAK Vienna.

The semi-enclosed chaise was designed to enhance vocal vibrations throughout the body, with the 3D printed skin, made up tiny knobs, providing both comfort and sound absorption. "The chaise is designed to use curved surfaces that tend to reflect the sound inwards," said Boston based Oxman. "The surface structure scatters the sound and reflects it into the 3D printed skin that absorbs that sound, and creates a quiet and calm environment.”

The Gemini project was the first to utilize Stratasys’ Connex3 triple-jetting technology. The combination of three base materials, the rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta, provided the 3D printed skin with a shock of color. In all, 44 materials were used in a single 3D print to produce the skin, each a different shade of yellow or orange, with differing degrees of transparency and rigidity.

“No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process,” said Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “This makes Stratasys' color, multi-material 3D printing technology very compelling for artists.”

To explain the growing number of 3D printed works being exhibited in museums, Kaempfer pointed to factors beyond the material variation shown in pieces such as Oxman’s Gemini: “We believe that the technology has substantial cultural impact and expect it to have a significant influence on buying habits and manufacturing industries,” the director explained. “As museums strive for public engagement with art, this progressive technology provides an important cultural reference, which should be celebrated.”

Buoyed by the success of its contributions to the artworld, Stratasys will continue to offer assistance to and collaboration with artists and designers. “3D printing is at the very cusp of innovation, and Stratasys leads the way with new developments of its technology and a wealth of diverse materials,” said Kaempfer. “As such it provides an expression of novelty and a source of wonderment for many artists.”

Oxman continues to use 3D printing technology for her projects. "In the future we will print 3D bone tissue, grow living breathing chairs and construct buildings by hatching swarms of tiny robots,” the prize-winning Israeli designer said. “The future is closer than we think; in fact, versions of it are already present in our midst."



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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