Met MakerBot Hackathon: Art To The People!

Picture courtesy of Simon Fieldhouse

Tomorrow, the MakerBot Community and the Metropolitan Museum of Art join forces to realize a common dream, one likely to revolutionize how we all think about art and museums.

For the team from the Met Museum — America’s most iconic museum, a world-beloved, forward-thinking art institution — the dream is to collaborate with cutting-edge artists and DIY-makers, to discover how one might bring the relevant, emerging art practice of 3D capture and 3D printing to bear on the task of enlarging the public conversation about works in their permanent collection. For the MakerBot Community — many of us devoted lovers of the Met, brimming with stories for how the institution and its collection have impacted our lives — this is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to clip on our Met Museum entry pins, roll up our sleeves, and do what we do best for the betterment of lovers of the Met world-over.

June 1-2, for the first time in history, a collection of brilliant digital artists from the MakerBot Community will be graciously welcomed by the Met in New York City to study, capture, and recreate pieces from the Met’s vast collection of art and artifacts. These artists – stay tuned and we’ll tell you who! – will capture significant works into the digital domain using Autodesk’s 123D Catch, clean up and manipulate the resulting models, and then produce replicas and original pieces of art on our 3rd generation 3D printer, The Replicator.

The Met was founded in 1870 by open-minded Americans who believed strongly that art belongs to all of us. In 1872, the Museum officially opened and in that same year began to allow artists to sit down with an easel to paint their own versions of what was hanging on the wall. A great way for the Museum to share its collection with the public; a great way for the public to learn about the artwork. This weekend’s Met MakerBot Hackathon is the 21st century extension of this same idea of bringing art to the people.

The Hackathon is designed to highlight both organizations’ passion for open access to art. Several members of the curatorial staff, influential authorities in the art world, and MakerBot experts will lend guidance and expertise to the entire process. The Museum will examine the potential of 3D scanning and printing technologies to engage visitors and artists with its collections. In other words, they’re looking toward the future and giving our MakerBot world a big high five.

This entire operation is the product of months of targeted planning and training. In fact, we have been working towards this day since the beginning of MakerBot as a company. We’ve tirelessly improved our machines to achieve the resolution necessary to reproduce gorgeous things gorgeously, and have been aided by creative companies and individuals who create software that’s accessible, and even free! We’re thrilled to be an integral part of this ground-breaking project.

The Met MakerBot Hackathon is an invite-only event, but we will be sharing updates throughout on this blog and our twitter @makerbot, so stay tuned!