The first thing to say is that 3D: printing the future is not especially big – or at least not in relation to some of the other vast exhibitions on display at the Science Museum. It comprises one large wall and a number of display cabinets. It's also not pitched at an especially tech-savvy audience – as with all Science Museum exhibitions, it is aimed at families and kids. What the exhibition does provide is a clear and coherent introduction to the subject, illustrated with a broad variation of 3D printed examples.
The exhibition (which has been running since October last year) was inspired by the increasing availability and decreasing cost of 3D printing. It recognizes that 3D printing is already taking off, from home enthusiasts all the way up to big business, and aims to explore what the impact of 3D printing will be on society.
Exhibits are split into three main groups – industry, medicine and small-scale projects and businesses. Amongst the items on display are 3D-printed replacement body parts, personalized drugs and artworks.
"3D printing enables engineers and designers to manufacture things they couldn’t make with traditional methods," says Suzy Antoniw, Exhibition Leader. "Every day we learn about new ways in which people from across society are capitalizing on the technology to realize 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."
If you're in London and have half an hour to spare, then the exhibition is well worth a visit. Really though, if you're visiting the Science Museum you should book out a full afternoon – the place, as ever, is just amazing to walk around. Current exhibitions look at the Large Hadron Collider, exploring the universe, and cutting-edge technologies. Hours of fun.
3D: printing the future runs until 7th February 2015 and is free to visit. If you can't make it, be sure to check out some of the highlights in our photo gallery.
Source: Science Museum