RICHMOND, VA -- The Virginia Society for Technology in Education showcased an exhibit featuring 3D-printed bulk vending toys at its Technology in Education conference, held in Virginia Beach last December. The exhibit, which celebrates "Heroes of 3D Printing: Designers and Artists" (Series No. 1), centers on a curated collection of models that showcases the talents of 3D-printing artists who use basic additive manufacturing technology for their work.
The artwork, created to resemble bulk capsuled toys, is displayed against a background centered on a vending machine that themes the exhibit. The machine functions, and the capsuled mini-sculptures are dispensed randomly to patrons from an artist mix. Each capsule includes a 3D-printed art piece, printed information about the artwork and links to the models' design files.
The exhibit is the brainchild of 3D-printing educator and blogger Josh Ajima.
"The use of a vending machine as the basis for the art installation embraces the joys of childhood," Ajima said. "As patrons interact with the 3D Gumball Gallery, they rediscover the kinesthetic sensation of the mechanical and the moment of suspense before popping open the capsule and revealing the contents. The random dispensing of models and colors asks the patron to closely examine a work other than one they would have picked for themselves."
Designers and Artists Series No. 1 comprises a variation of 3D artists. These include Broadway set designer Kacie Hultgren, who created a miniature Queen Anne-style chair; mathematician Laura Taalman, whose cool Fidget Cube is printed in one piece, with working hinges; and artist Asher Nahmias ("Dzingof"), who produced a "Klein Bottle" (a shape with only one continual surface, difficult to make in one piece without a 3D printer); and more.
The Virginia Society for Technology is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education. ISTE is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the use of information technology to aid in learning and teaching of K-12 students and teachers.
Information about the show is available at the Virginia Society for Technology's website, vste.org, and at exhibit designer and curator Josh Ajima's blog, addressable at designmaketeach.com.