Crowd Sourcing Ben Franklin’s Bust

Ben Franklin Sculpture

Composite image of completed 3D prints, photographed before being shipped.

Ben Franklin rises again. Only, this time instead of being an undead character in a series of children’s books, Ben Franklinstein is the loving nick-name given to a project that crowdsources the 3D-printed reproduction of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s portrait bust of the inventor and founding father. For Todd Blatt, organizer of the project, this is his second crowdsourced 3D-printing project of the year. Continue reading

Digital and Non-Human Processes Rule at MAD


If you think digital art is just 3-D printing and computer-driven technologies, visit Out of Hand, Materializing the Postdigital (through June 1, 2014 at MAD) or read its 300-page catalog loaded with 120 works by 85 artists from 20 countries.[i] Museum of Arts and Design Marcia Docter Curator Ronald T. Labaco has organized a talent pool of artists, designers, and architects. Continue reading

3-D Printing: Viable for Sculpture?


Despite the headline-grabbing hype, the promise and the premise, artists remain mixed about the viability and use of three-dimensional printing in their work. Some have embraced this new technology while others are skeptical about certain limitations (namely, scale of objects produced) at this still-early stage of the technology, which is traced to a 1984 patent, but has become more common in the last decade. Continue reading

How Smithsonian X 3D Can Change the Museum Experience


As Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Wayne Clough greeted visitors to Smithsonian X 3D Conference, he casually rattled off a rounded figure of visitors to the Smithsonian in 2012: 30 million. If those were all Americans, that means about 300 million never crossed the threshold of any of their 19 museums, or the National Zoo. Continue reading