Science Museum explores the future of 3D printing


Replacement body organs, aeroplane parts and a music box will be among the printed objects on display in a new exhibition, 3D: printing the future, which opens at the Science Museum on 9 October.

The increasing availability and decreasing cost of 3D printing technology has lead to an explosion of creativity among innovators, from big businesses and the medical industry through to small start-ups, students, hackers and artists.  This exhibition will explore the rapidly evolving field of 3D printing and its growing impact on society. 

Suzy Antoniw, Exhibition Leader, Science Museum said, “3D printing enables engineers and designers to manufacture things they couldn’t make with traditional methods. Every day we learn about new ways in which people from across society are capitalising on the technology to realise their ideas and enrich people’s lives. Our exhibition aims to shine a light on the latest developments and discuss where the technology may take us in future.”

3D: printing the future will introduce the latest technology and process behind 3D printing and take visitors on a journey through three key sectors in which the technology is driving innovation – industry, medicine and small-scale projects and businesses.

Stories featured in the exhibition will include:

· The new ways in which the medical industry is researching 3D printing to fix our bodies by creating replacement parts, from teeth to ears and even simple organs.

· A glimpse into a medical future where doctors may be able to use 3D printing technology to create drugs that can be tailored to each patient’s needs.

· How engineers are using 3D printing to create lighter and more efficient parts for aeroplanes and space probes – potentially saving airlines costs for fuel and materials.

· Carpenter Richard Van As’ 3D printed an artificial hand, following an accident in which he lost four fingers. He has made the plans for this hand freely available to anyone online.

· An artwork - Inversive Embodyment by Tobias Klein – a sculptural piece printed in nylon using data from MRI scans of Tobias Klein’s own body and the iconic structure of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The exhibition will also feature a number of miniature 3D printed figures created from 3D scans of visitors who will take part in workshops at the museum during the summer holidays. These workshops are part of a whole summer of 3D themed activities at the Science Museum between 25 July and 1 September.

3D: printing the future  is a free exhibition and will run in the Antenna gallery at the Science Museum for 9 months from 9 October 2013.

The exhibition is supported by Principal Funder EADS, Major Funders Renishaw and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPRSC) and with additional support from the Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) based at The University of Nottingham.

Social Media information
Twitter: #PrintingTheFuture

For further press information or images please contact Laura Singleton, Science Museum Press Office. E-mail . Tel: 0207 942 4364.

FREE Entry, Summer opening hours (25 July – 1 Sept): 10:00 - 19.00
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD
0870 870 4868 |

Notes to Editors

Science Museum
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

Renishaw plc
A world leading engineering technologies company, Renishaw supplies products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It is also a world leader in the field of additive manufacturing (also referred to as 3D printing), where it designs and makes industrial machines which ‘print’ parts from metal powder. The FTSE 250 listed company employs 3,300 people globally, with wholly owned subsidiaries in 32 countries and sales in excess of £330 million. It has been honoured with 16 Queen’s Awards and its UK assembly facility in Gloucestershire was last year named the UK’s Best Electronics & Electrical Plant.

The Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) based at The University of Nottingham are internationally recognised leaders in the field of 3D Printing research. Having been active in the field for over 20 years and working closely with leading international industry across a broad spectrum of sectors, they have a long heritage of pioneering work into new processes, materials and design systems for 3DP. In 2011, the 3DPRG became the proud hosts of the £6M EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing which has a research focus on next generation “multifunctional Additive Manufacturing” – the direct production of working systems, featuring (for example) electronic, optical or biological functionality, in one build operation.