by Tasia Williams
This fall 2016, Tasia Williams, graduate student in Museology at the University of Washington presented a poster at the Western Museum Association Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. She presented research about her work experimenting with producing 3D printing replicas of archaeological artifacts from the Burke Museum, including a walrus bone cup found in Seattle. This project arose out of an interdisciplinary class offered through the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Burke Museum and was taught by Steven Weidner. This class focused on digitizing and printing paleontological fossils from the museum’s collection.
According to Tasia “I applied what I learned in that class to solve the unique problems involved with modeling and printing artifacts.
The Solheim Additive Manufacturing Lab was invaluable in helping me experiment with this project. I wanted to try out non-extruding printers (powder printing or ASTM binder jet printing), but I found that I needed help. Kim Sokol, a senior Mechanical Engineering student, assisted me by using her knowledge to print out several artifact replicas on the powder bed printer.
I am incorporating this research into my thesis which will examine the ways museum visitors learn from 3D printed replicas of museum artifacts. I want to thank Professor Ganter, Kim, and everyone else at the lab for helping me with this project. I couldn’t have done this project without them!”