Stratasys, Ltd. has announced that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired the much-acclaimed ‘Gemini' chaise designed by Prof. Neri Oxman for its permanent collection (watch video).

The purchase of Gemini, designed in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter with the 3D printed skin by Stratasys, is the most recent in a series of 3D printed art accessions by prestigious museums across the USA and Europe, which also include MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum London, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and MAK Vienna.

Gemini is a semi-enclosed, stimulation-free environment designed to enhance vocal vibrations, which are thought to be healing, throughout the body. A biologically-inspired 3D printed skin lines the beautiful wooden chassis. The skin's texture is an intricate design of tiny knobs, which provide comfort while maximising sound absorption. The combination of a CNC milled wooden shell and the 3D printed lining creates an ideal acoustic setting for a single individual.

As the first project unveiled using Stratasys' unique Connex3 triple-jetting technology, the 3D printed ‘skin' that lines Gemini was created in myriad colours and materials. Combining three base materials - Stratasys' rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta - the acoustic chaise included 44 different materials properties in varying shades of yellows and oranges with differing transparencies and rigidities, all produced simultaneously in a single 3D print. Surfaces that are more curved than others were assigned more elastic properties, thereby increasing sound absorption. The materials, shapes and surfaces of the 3D printed ‘skin' enable a unique vibrational acoustic effect for a quiet, calming environment (read more about the World Premiere of Neri Oxman's Gemini Acoustic Chaise at Le Laboratoire, Paris on the Stratasys blog).

"No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process. This makes Stratasys colour, multi-material 3D printing technology very compelling for artists," says Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. "And that's just one influencing factor in the recent growth we are seeing in museums advocating 3D printed artwork. We believe that the technology has substantial cultural impact and expect it to have a significant influence on buying habits and manufacturing industries. As museums strive for public engagement with art, this progressive technology provides an important cultural reference, which should be celebrated."

Prof. Neri Oxman also explored the concept of varying material properties in a collaborative project with fashion designer Iris Van Herpen, along with Professor W. Craig Carter, Keren Oxman and Stratasys. Anthozoa: Cape & Skirt, which creates movement and texture through the use of Stratasys hard and soft 3D printed materials, debuted at Van Herpen's show "Voltage" at Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013 and now resides within the permanent collection at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The work will be on view this spring in the exhibition #techstyle (March 6-July 10, 2016).

MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum London and MAK Vienna have similarly incorporated Stratasys 3D printed designs from Prof. Neri Oxman into their permanent collections in 2014, this time from the Imaginary Beings: Mythologies of the Not Yet collection, also produced in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter and Stratasys (watch video: 18 Prototypes of the Human Body - a look at Neri Oxman's stunning 3D printed works).

According to Kaempfer, the trend for museums adopting 3D printed design affirms the longevity of 3D printing as an artistic medium and reflects a wider movement of artists celebrating the unique capabilities made possible with this technology.

"3D printing is at the very cusp of innovation, and Stratasys leads the way with new developments of its technology and a wealth of diverse materials. As such it provides an expression of novelty and a source of wonderment for many artists," Kaempfer concludes.