The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu wanted to display an exhibition about NASA and decided to incorporate 13 of NASA’s satellites that are engaged in Earth observations complete with data supporting their models. So instead of ordering the models from the Philippines, which would have cost them very expensive, at $300 per model, they decided on purchasing a 3D printer and making the models themselves.
The Exhibit Designer of the museum, Micheal Wilson, started executing this project. He formulated the designs and had his complete set of gadgets for executing this task. The equipment he had were Matter and Form 3D scanner, FlashForge Creator Pro 3D printer, a MakerBot software and a computer. The museum obtained all necessary files from NASA and then started working on making replicas of the actual satellites. All the parts scaled down in appropriate proportion and were then 3D printed, painted and finally assembled. The whole task was actually a mammoth project that would have taken huge amounts of money, but due to the 3D printing technology and the efficient and innovative staff of the museum, this mission was accomplished at relatively low costs.
One such project devised by the museum is the game of Elepcio, that takes the viewers on an expedition through the ecosystem, solving their queries and doubts. The aim of the museum is to educate the viewers through interactive and interesting studies. 3d printing was a cost effective method to gain equipment and models that would help in creating items that would make this mission a reality.
Other museums around the world are becoming more and more aware and supporting the 3D technology to set up models and replicas that help educate the viewers and make close and real life exploration of the objects possible.