Despite being at the forefront of digital fabrication technology, 3D printing is still shrouded in mystery, something which the Design Exchange (DX) hopes to change with its most recent exhibition, “3DXL” in Toronto. Curated by the director of DX, Sara Nickleson, 3DXL brings together 3D printing projects from across fields, including work from medicine, design and architecture. As the name suggests, the exhibit presents 3D printing on a scale not normally observed by the public. In particular, the exhibit addresses the role 3D printing will play in the future of architecture, and how it may begin to replace more traditional architectural construction.
Among the projects lined up at 3DXL are a component of the 3D Print Canal House by DUS Architects, and Arabesque Wall, an incredibly complex 3D print of sandstone by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger. Other projects include Saltygloo, a 3D printed pavilion made from sea salt by Emerging Objects, and Mangrove Structure, an alcove relying on 3D printed connectors by Denegri Bessai Studio.
The exhibit also includes interactive 3D printing installations and workshops, printing camp sessions for youth and talks and events with leaders in the field. Unlike the Design Exchange’s past exhibits, which have been held in its main gallery on Bay St, 3DXL takes place in its satellite location – a glass box at the heart of downtown Toronto, aiming to blur the threshold between street and exhibit.