The World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum ®


Almost everyone has heard an orchestra in film, television, or radio. But not everyone has attended a live orchestral performance. A new display in MIM’s Europe Gallery uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver a multisensory orchestral experience to guests via the world’s first complete miniature symphony orchestra printed in 3-D.

To create the diminutive orchestra, MIM enlisted the help of London-based musicians, many of whom are members of the London City Orchestra. The musicians visited my3Dtwin, a studio in London that specializes in 3-D-printed figurines. Each musician was photographed in a special 360-degree photo booth with cameras arranged to capture every angle of the musician and his or her instrument. The resulting photos were translated into a digital rendering that was then printed as a 1/12 scale “twin” of the musician. Built layer by layer of plaster of paris, each twin emerged in full color from a 3-D printer.

At MIM, the figures sit atop an 84-inch monitor donated by NEC Display Solutions. The monitor lights up as audio of each instrument plays, highlighting the major sections of the orchestra. Over the course of four minutes, guests are taken on a journey around the orchestra, hearing audio excerpts from standard orchestral works. In this way, the display illustrates the number and variety of instruments, their character and sound, how they are held, how the orchestra is configured, and what the performers wear.