Sample images from workshop leads, Behnaz Farahi and Michael Eden, 2023, photos by Yoon Chung Han
October 6, 2023 – February 18, 2024
San José.STL is the culmination of a San José State University-based project that included two creative learning workshops intended to introduce community members to the technology and creative potential of 3D printing. Offered in partnership with Chopsticks Alley Art and the San José Museum of Art, the first workshop took place at the Olinder Community Center in March 2023, and was led by acclaimed contemporary artist Behnaz Farahi. The second workshop, led by United Kingdom-based artist and maker Michael Eden, was held at the San José Museum of Art a month later. The free workshops were organized by San José State University Professor Yoon Chung Han, and served a broad cross section of San José’s diverse community. The exhibition is not only a celebration of the outcome, but of curiosity and creativity, community connections, and the power of collaboration.
Participants of all ages learned how to turn 2D digital images into 3D printable models using several software programs, such as Rhino 3D. Although they were encouraged to draw inspiration from their cultural heritage, students had the option to use templates or create their own drawings of images that held personal meaning. Since most workshop participants were newcomers to the process, the learning curve was an exciting and creative challenge. Both workshops were well supported by student assistants from San José State University, as well as staff and volunteers from both partner organizations.
After the workshops, completed 3D model files were taken to campus labs, where they were converted into STL files, or “Standard Tessellation Language,” in order to be printed. Students in design, chemical, and materials engineering worked on the original STL files, which were printed in a wide variety of colors. Because 3D printing is a time consuming, additive manufacturing process, the objects in the exhibition had to be printed over the intervening months. The resulting exhibition not only showcases the project participants’ work but draws attention to historical and contemporary connections between culture and technologies, past, present, and future.
San José.STL is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art San José. Additional support for this program was provided by the College of Humanities and the Arts’ Artistic Excellence Programming Grant, under the direction of Professor and artist Yoon Chung Han.
Kimi De Leonibus