For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Museums in the Age of 3D Printing

April 03, 2015

The evolving technology of 3D printing is rapidly achieving the previously unimaginable—now, everything from parts for planes and cars to art and medical implants are produced using a variety of 3D formats. One field that has begun to see huge opportunities in 3D printing is the museum arena, but many museum professionals have never experienced the cutting edge technology first-hand. In a lecture-demonstration designed to give participants a full introduction to the revolutionary technology that has advanced so many industries, on Friday, April 24 the Museum Leadership graduate program will host guest speaker Don Undeen, Senior Manager of Media Lab at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to discuss new avenues that 3D printing opens for museums. The lecture-demonstration coincides with Philly Tech Week and the Philadelphia Science Festival. Undeen’s talk will be preceded by demonstrations in 3D technologies in Westphal’s Hybrid Making Lab (URBN Center, 3501 Market Street), at 4:30pm. At 5:30pm, Don Undeen will speak in the URBN Annex Screening Room (3401 Filbert Street), followed by a 6:30pm reception in the URBN Annex Lobby.

During his discussion Undeen will present some of the Metropolitan Museum’s successful digitally-mediated programs. The Met’s Media Lab explores ways that new technology can affect the museum experience for both staff and visitors, including in galleries, in classrooms and online. Digital tools lower the barrier of entry for creative production and turn viewers into active participants, aligning with the do-it-yourself culture that supports creating rather than consuming.

A panel discussion featuring representatives from NRI and 3D Systems, makers of the Cube, an at-home 3D printer, will discuss projects with the Cooper Hewett, the Smithsonian and other institutions. This event is co-sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Association of Museums and the Museum Council of Philadelphia. For more information, please contact Dr. Danielle Rice at