China is sending a clear message that it’s taking its national 3D printing culture very seriously, with the opening of the country’s first ever 3D Printing Cultural Museum earlier this week in Shanghai. Since opening festivities kicked off in the Wisdom Bay Industrial Park of Baoshan, Shanghai, the impressive cultural institute has already proved itself a force to be reckoned with. The building measures up at 5,000 square metres and six floors, with special amenities including a permanent exhibition hall, themed exhibition hall, 3D printing materials library, 3D printing research centre, creative gallery, interactive exhibition hall, and image exhibition hall. And that’s not even counting the Museum’s highly anticipated 3D sky garden and children’s activity centre.
Museum officials have stated that they hope the official opening will help spread 3D print culture, enrich public spirit and cultural life, and enhance Baoshan’s cultural strength in playing a more active role in the development of China’s 3D printing industry. Overall, the total of nine functional spaces housed in the Museum will serve as historical and cultural education and provide specialized cultural experience.
The location was chosen with China’s museological history in mind: Yun Chuan Road has a long history as the old warehouse locale for the Shanghai Wool Textile Factory. In design, the 3D Printing Cultural Museum retains the old building’s large side channel for deliveries, in an architecture that merges history and innovation.
Hexagonal decorative elements are sprinkled throughout the museum in signs, closets, and a variety of other 3D printed items. The six-sided shape was chosen as a representation of the textile manufacturing industry, while alluding to a new type of manufacturing: the molecular structure of polymer synthesis, a basic 3D printed material.
Artistically, the 3D Printing Cultural Museum displays a vast collection of 3D printing technology from various fields of design and application. Metal works of art making use of selective laser melting (SLM) can be viewed alongside 3D printed nylon furniture, 3D printed ceramics, and dazzling 3D printed jewelry in all shapes and sizes.
At the same time, the Museum also seeks to play a educational role, housing a large centre for academic research and scientific research, and a special lecture hall. Additionally, the children’s activity centre is located on the 4th floor, encouraging families to experience the sheer fun of learning to 3D print.
The 3D printing cafe is expected to wow visitors as well, featuring aesthetics that integrate science, technology, and design. You may even encounter notable 3D designers and other 3D printing experts there while you sip your coffee.
The 3D Printing Cultural Museum is now open during regular working hours. Visitors are encouraged to make an appointment in advance.