The Design Exchange is a not-for-profit museum funded and operated by a collection of artists, studios, printers, designers, home builders, architects and others in the field of art, design and architecture who collectively put on exhibits throughout the year in Downtown Toronto, focusing on Art, Design, Printing and new technologies. Their principal focus is the pursuit and display of design excellence and innovation as well as education and highlighting relevance of design to people’s everyday life.
The 3DXL is their latest exhibit in Downtown Toronto at the corner of King Street and Blue Jay way in a “Fishbowl” type location with windows around the 2 exposed sides, focussed on 3D Printing. The exhibit runs from May 14 – Aug 16, right through the PanAm Games (10,000 participants and millions of tourists), also in Downtown Toronto.
Among the sponsors of the both the Design Exchange and this exhibit in particular are The Printing House which is expecting to launch into 3D printing in a big way, with their new dedicated 3D Printing Store in downtown Toronto, eventually rolling out the 3D Printing concept to their 70 national stores.
The exhibit consists of 8 rooms all focussed on different elements of 3D printing – historical, artistic, future, and the DX Lab which is the section located in the “fishbowl”. This is where the bank of MakerBot printers are located and running 24/7. Visitors can enter this section and work with 2 Ryerson University’s Design students who will demonstrate the printers in action, work with visitors to design and print items, and generally get people excited about MakerBot printers. This is particularly useful when tour groups and schools come by to visit.
Throughout the run of the show, various special events are planned including family nights, Meetups, summer camp, adult and student modelling, design and printing classes, video game design, workshops, and curators tours.
Initially, the main Desktop 3D Printer was expected to be Ultimaker, since that is who Ryerson was working with. The Printing house was instrumental in getting MakerBot to replace Ultimaker as the exclusive Desktop 3D printer.
It is estimated that 80,000 – 120,000 people will visit the exhibit. Additional exposure to hundreds of thousands more through various media events and reporting. The
exposure and visibility of MakerBot at this level in Canada would have cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Instead it cost MakerBot the 5 loaner printers.