3D Printing with Sandwell Community

‘’Taste of 3D printing at the Oak House Museum’’

Avatar 3D printer the ‘’ingenium’’ soft launch which took place at the Oak House Museum on the 8th of April 2015 was a significant occasion for Revathi Timms, Executive Director of Avatar Enterprise Limited. Revathi said ‘’When I set up the company Avatar I had written two business plans, one to manufacture 3D printers and another to deliver training on how to use this innovative technology and after three phases of prototype development, it was remarkable to finally see Avatar 3D printer the ‘’ingenium’’ in action, printing 3 dimensional objects, some from the museum collection”.

Families with children from the Sandwell Community who attended the taster session held in the historic barns of the Oak House Museum were inspired by the possibilities of the future of 3D Printing, they were provided with a demonstration of a full 360-degree scan of an object, and the process of how it can be reproduced using the 3D printer ‘’ingenium”, thus allowing the visitor to go deeper into the experience of the object.

This process is referred to as the physical–digital–physical process, for example :

1. Carve a statue out of stone. (PHYSICAL)
2. Digitise your statue with a 3D scanner. (DIGITAL)
3. Make some edits. Shrink it down. Add wings. (STILL DIGITAL)
4. Print the edited sculpture in plastic with a 3D printer. (PHYSICAL AGAIN)

Thus, this technology is well suited to replicate artefacts, pieces that need to be handled with care can be scanned and then freely manipulated. The Oak House Museum artefact clay quill holder and clay pipe amongst others were printed and displayed, thanks to the magic of 3-D printing, we’re all one step closer to owning a handful of the Museum’s historic objects, albeit in plastic.

This opportunity was brought to the Sandwell Adult Community with collaborative support from the Sandwell Council Museum Service and Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service, who played an active role in supporting Avatar launch the ‘’ingenium’’ printer, designed and manufactured in the UK.