3D Printing

The Art Institute of Chicago Embraces 3D Printing, Scanning

In the United States, some folks refer to that so-called desolate area of land between Los Angeles and New York as the “fly-over states” and, in so doing, neglect the thriving lives at work in those rich places dotting the American landscape.  Autodesk is bringing attention to the Maker communities, in particular, that may be overlooked when only considering the East and West coasts, focusing specifically on Chicago, they city of my childhood.  Over the coming weeks, a team from Autodesk 123D will be exploring the city’s Maker scene and they’ve begun with the Art Institute of Chicago.

In the video below, you’ll hear from various members of the respected institution discuss how 3D printing and scanning are being used to expand the ways that patrons experience the museum’s various artworks.  For instance, Lucas Livingston, Associate Director of Senior Programs, has 3D printed a touchable showcase for the visually impaired to feel their way through art history.  The museum is also using Autodesk’s 123D Catch, the photometric scanning app for Apple devices, to 3D scan sculptures, even attracting children to take part in the scanning process.

The Art Institute has even begun uploading their scans to Thingiverse so that anyone in the world can get their hands on 3D printed copies of a variety of pieces, such as the famous lion statue that guard’s the museum steps, as well items within the building itself, like this Japanese Horse sculpture from between the 5th and 6th centuries.  Autodesk 123D suggests that 3D scanning objects for 3D printing will become increasingly common and I couldn’t agree more!