February 1, 2024
The Image Permanence Institute has been awarded $315,854 from the National Endowment for the Humanities Research & Development grant program to support a three-year research project titled, Evaluating the Mechanical Stability of 3D Printed Materials to Inform Collections Care Decision Making for Preservation and Access.
The project aims to evaluate the mechanical stability of 3D printed materials used in preservation and access activities. Digital scanning and printing technologies are finding increased use by cultural institutions as they offer new opportunities to reduce the risk of damage to objects during treatment and exhibition preparation by enabling custom-tailored solutions in minimally invasive ways. While 3D printing offers improved efficiencies and outcomes for certain applications, the mechanical and chemical stability of printed materials used in these contexts remains understudied. This project will assess mechanical properties of 3D printed materials exposed to changing environments and as they apply to three major areas of use in preservation and access, namely i) dimensional change of 3D printed materials used for object infills, ii) creep behavior of 3D printed mounts, and iii) damping properties of 3D printed materials in response to dynamic loads.
In 2004, IPI released ClimateNotebook, the first desktop software designed specifically for libraries, archives, and museums to graph environmental data and generate reports with preservation analysis. In 2012, eClimateNotebook (eCNB) was launched. A web application that synthesized the strengths of ClimateNotebook, and IPI’s other preservation management tools (MyClimateData and PEMdata) into a single, unified platform.
IPI is looking for a new team member in a redefined Sustainable Preservation Specialist role. The Sustainable Preservation Specialist supports professionals working in collecting institutions with environmental monitoring and sustainable preservation practices. They assist collecting institutions with basic environmental monitoring and data analysis, advise on logger placement in collection storage and exhibition spaces, and provide instruction on the use of IPI’s data management and analysis software, eClimateNotebook.
Xinxin Li is IPI’s new 3D Design Assistant working under the supervision of Meredith Noyes, Research Scientist, as part of the IMLS-funded project Foundational Research to Inform Preservation Guidelines for the Creation, Collection, and Consumption of 3D Printed Objects in Museums. Xinxin is a MFA candidate in Industrial Design at RIT and comes to IPI after receiving her BFA in Industrial Design from Savannah College of Art and Design.
In May-June 2022, IPI conducted an online survey assessing how collecting institutions are using 3D printing and interacting with 3D printed objects and materials. The survey covered three major areas: 3D printed objects and artwork found in collections, conservation treatments of 3D printed objects, and 3D printing in preservation and access activities, including its use as a tool in conservation treatments of non-3D printed objects, exhibition and display, and collections transportation.