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Exhibit Concepts, PLI Deck out Computer History Museum

Signage, displays at Mountain View, CA institution celebrate milennia of geekiness

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Considering the computing industry’s rapid research and development, where a device is seemingly obsolete a year after a much-ballyhooed introduction, its unrelenting impetus to advance and progress has seemingly left little will to reflect on and celebrate past innovations that have preceded today’s armada of smart technology.

However, founders of Mountain View, CA’s Computer History Museum have collected and catalogued more than 1,000 artifacts, such as behemoth computers from the 1940s and ’50s, and components from early-generation units.

The Museum’s current exhibit, Revolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computing, tracks the computer’s development from ancient calculation devices through punchcard machines to the development of Pong, which ushered in the video-game era in the mid ’70s.

The museum hired Exhibit Concepts (Vandalia, OH) to fabricate the exhibits, millwork and other hardware for the 25,000-sq.-ft. exhibit, which integrates hands-on displays and interactive games with an artifact-based display of equipment that helped power iPad and smartphone predecessors. Van Sickle & Rolieri (Medford, NJ) designed the program.

Exhibit Concepts contracted Photo Lab Inc. (PLI), Cincinnati, to produce the project’s exhibit graphics. PLI created photographic panels on its Durst Lambda photographic printer with Fuji’s DuraFlex film. Some components were applied second surface to 15-mil-thick polycarbonate before they were mounted to Mitsubishi Alpolic’s Graphic-Al LT aluminum-composite material, and others were affixed second surface to 1/16-in.-thick, non-glare acrylic before being mounted on melamine panels with a MACtac adhesive.

Other components in high-traffic areas comprise Ritrama RIJet-140 Floor Talker vinyl, which was printed on a Mimaki JV33 solvent-ink printer and protected with Seal Graphics’ Floor Guard 5-mil overlaminate. The shop also created wall-mounted fabric prints on Fisher Textiles’ GF 4417 SoftKnit fire-retardant material, printed on an EFI-VUTEk FabriVu.

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“The constantly improving resolution of inkjet printers has made them now the equal of photographic prints,” Exhibit Concepts’ Andrew Nigro said. “The abundance of material choices helps our business.”
 

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