TechFocus IV: Caring for 3D Printed Art

Posted on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 11:59


San Francisco, California, USA

Date and time


The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) is pleased to announce TechFocus IV: Caring for 3D Printed Art, October 5-6, 2020 at SFMOMA in San Francisco, CA.

3D printing, also known as rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing, is being utilized by architects, designers, artists, and consumers, and is becoming increasingly common and technically sophisticated. In short, it describes the process of creating a three-dimensional object via computer-aided design (CAD) programs and digital files, printing it using a range of materials from plastic to metal more conventionally, to all kinds of experimental materials like chocolate or shrimp shells. Originated as a technology to rapidly produce prototypes, 3D printed artworks are now progressively entering collections. While long-term condition prognosis still awaits discovery, some printing materials are known to quickly yellow and degrade. At the same time, the inherent reproducibility of the technology challenges us to rethink appropriate preservation measures for cases where the boundaries of what constitutes the "original object" may not be as clearly defined. 

The goal of the program is to address caretakers and creators alike and help them understand these objects' technology, risks, and requirements. In this way, the conference will serve as a platform to develop guidelines within the community towards the long-term stewardship of both the printed object and accompanying digital files necessary if reprinting becomes a viable option. The two-day program will include a basic introduction on the first day and more intermediate level lectures and hands-on demonstrations on the second day.

Speakers and additional program information will be available in Spring 2020. Registration information can be found here:

Content for this program is organized by a committee of the American Institute for Conservation's Electronic Media Group (EMG) and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.