Printing a New Direction at the McDonough Museum

3D Printing
The main platform of a 3D printer.

With the Additive Manufacturing industry blossoming around the Youngstown area, the McDonough Museum of Art has featured a new exhibition exploring the wonders and advances of 3D printing.

3D printing uses different materials, ranging from paper to ceramic and gold to edible materials, to build objects layer by layer, rather than remove material to carve out an object. Part of the 3D printing exhibition details how 3D printing has advanced in the last thirty years.

The beginning of the 3D printing phenomenon started in 1984 when Charles Hall, a co-founder of 3D Systems, invented stereolithography. The new process allowed companies to test designs before launching larger manufacturing projects, which is similar to the rapid prototyping done today with 3D printing.

From 3D models to full face transplants to a printed chocolate you, 3D printing makes advances every day. Gradually, researchers have been bringing us closer to the futuristic ideas of movies like Star Trek. If researchers can print clothing and bionic hands, what is to stop them from printing food for everyday use?

While you may not be able to print your own clothing at the McDonough Museum, you can print your own keychain using one of the four 3D printers on display. For a suggested $5 donation, you can take home a little piece of 3D printing history, or you can make a gear for the project wall.

The McDonough Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm, with the exhibition running through August 2nd. For more information on the exhibition or the McDonough Museum of Art, click here.