DEARBORN — Holiday ornaments crafted in Dearborn depicting historic buildings are for sale at the Dearborn Historical Museum.
The 3-D printed replicas, depicting the Ford Rotunda, Fordson High School and the Wagner Hotel, are made by museum staff and can be purchased for $15, with an additional $4 fee if shipped.
Shoppers can purchase the ornaments at the Museum Office at 915 S. Brady Street or online at www.thedhm.com. Money raised from the sale benefits the Museum Guild of Dearborn, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the Dearborn Historical Museum.
“You can hold a piece of Dearborn history in your hand, start a collection on your shelf or celebrate the holiday season with a unique ornament on your tree,” Jack Tate, acting chief curator of the Dearborn Historical Museum, said. “We have a great team at the museum and they came up with the idea, the 3-D printer, the program to produce the ornaments, selected which buildings to highlight and more. I’m really proud of them and this initiative.”
The first ornament sold three years ago and the idea of volunteer, local historian and former Dearborn Historical Commissioner Ian Tomashik became immediately popular.
“I wanted to raise money for the museum, honor our historic Dearborn landmarks and, by making models, bring these buildings and memories back to life,” Tomashik said. “We used a still photo and free digital modeling software to create a rendering of the Wagner Hotel. Since 3-D printers take patience and skill to operate, we had the designs printed by online services for the first two years.”
Tyler Moll, the museum’s exhibit designer, had the idea to move the operation in-house.
“This is the first year we’ve used our new Flashforge 3-D printer,” he said. “It melts plastic called PLA at over 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then builds the image in layers. For every eight hours we run the printer, we produce eight to ten 3-D plastic molded ornaments. We add a thin wooden backer plate created with a K40 Laser cutter that imprints the name of the building and the year it was built. I like that we use modern materials to look at history. It’s really a great idea and a great way to show off history and architecture and introduce them to a new audience.”
The ornaments are about three inches wide and are available in brushed silver or antique gold finishes. Ornaments from previous years are still available as well.
For additional information, residents can contact Paul Talpos, assistant chief curator at the Dearborn Historical Museum, at 313-565-3000.