Exploratorium "Plankton Populations" exhibit

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By Gail Amole | Aug 25, 2015
Large format display

GM Nameplate recently worked on a project for the Exploratorium, a popular museum of science, art and human perception, on their new exhibit "Plankton Populations." The museum is a local hotspot in Northern California because of its interactive exhibits and unique programs. The "Plankton Populations" exhibit is an interactive display which allows users to view and learn about the microscopic organisms.

The “Plankton Populations” exhibit features a round disc that essentially works as a digital "microscope" for the exhibit, displaying the microscopic organisms. The disks needed to work with the main display’s program to display the correct visual. GMN printed clear IR-absorbing ink on clear IR-reflective substrates and enclosed this between two acrylic layers. The disks were produced to be programmed with and recognized by the exhibit software. Because the Exploratorium is a child friendly science museum, the part also needed to be visually clear and rugged enough to withstand a physically hands-on environment.

Our Corporate Chemist, Larry Tighe, worked to develop the necessary ink system for the part. GMN also worked alongside Epolin, a developer and manufacturer of near infrared absorbing dyes, coatings and thermoplastic compounds, to produce the part. GMN has a long history of working with Epolin on various projects. Before production, we completed two rounds of prototyping to ensure that the part would meet all requirements.

In the end, complete production run through was completed ahead of schedule. The work on this part is a great example of GMN’s cutting edge technical printing capabilities.