Innovator and pioneer in the development of digital printing works with part of the Smithsonian Institute.
Mimaki USA has placed a Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer at the disposal of the Smithsonian Exhibits’ (SIE) studios. The leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters says it is proud to work with the SIE studios, which is located in Landover, MD, which also is 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 programmes and research purposes.
Josh Hope, 3D Printing & Engineering Projects Manager at Mimaki noted: “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.” He added that the 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 also embarked on its first project to use the Mimaki printer to create full colour, 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 3D printer include models of collection objects used for hands-on educational activities with the public and tactile display elements for low-vision or blind visitors such as raised-line maps to aid with way-finding.
The Smithsonian Institution is said to be the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex with 19 museums and galleries, nine research centres and the national zoo. It shapes the future by preserving the heritage of the American experience, discovering new knowledge as well as sharing its resources with the world.