Hack the Museum

Hack the Museum

Look around you when you visit the galleries at the Met. You might see people sketching, writing down observations, or taking photographs. These patrons come to the Met to be inspired and to discover visual and technical solutions that exist in the pieces on display. Ever since 1872 when the Met first allowed artists to re-create works of art on display, attendees have come to museum looking for inspiration.

How does 3D printing fit in?

On June 1 and 2, 2012, the Met invited twenty-five digital artists and programmers to the Met to experiment with the 3D scanning and 3D printing. Like others who sketch or take photos, these people were using the Met’s collection as a departure point for the creation of new work.

Looking for a 3D scan of some of the pieces in the collection? Visit MyMiniFactory’s Met collection or the Louvre’s collection. Explore work from the Victoria and Albert Museum, or the Anatomical Museum. Check out Christian Levett and The Mougins Museum, and use one of those models as a starting point. Can you make a lamp out of a classical piece of sculpture, or a ring, or a vase? Transform an existing piece of art into a puppet or a minifig! Travel back in history, or uproot the art and consider it another time or place entirely. Can you complete a sculpture that is missing a piece?

Hack the Met, June 2012

Download a model. Bring it into your favorite CAD program to modify it and make it your own.

Get inspired by the Portland Art Museum

In conjunction with the Rodin exhibition, The Human Experience, the Portland Museum hosted Rodin Remix. Rodin Remix was a hands-on project gallery that encouraged visitors to explore and create figures based on Rodin’s process of reusing old fragments in new works. This exhibit also put a modern spin on Rodin’s method of mass production by showcasing pieces printed on 3D printers.

Rodin recycled fragments of plaster casts that he had already made, by recombining these elements into new sculptures. In Rodin Remix, visitors created their own dramatic sculptures from 3D printed and magnetized Rodin figures, walking away from the experience with a taste of the artist’s use of fragments.

The Portland Art Museum partnered with the Portland 3D Printing Lab to produce 3D prints.Prints were made from free online STL files under the Creative Commons license, and from scans of the Rodin pieces in the show.

Project Objectives

  • Produce a digital model inspired by an existing final work of art or maquette from a collection.
  • Prepare a model for 3D printing

Recommended age range 10+
Category: Beginner lessons+
Tags: 3D CAD, 3D printing, 3D printed, beginners, design, art, museum, education
Software: User’s choice
Lesson Duration: Two 45 minute class (additional time to print)