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Rockheim Museum Project

, Dip Tech

Just as Bob Seger wrote "Rock ‘n Roll Never Forgets," Norwegian rock and pop music enthusiasts began clamoring for an archive that would promote the collection, preservation, and cultivation of Norwegian popular music more than a decade ago. Finally, in the spring of 2006, the project began to come together. The road wasn´t easy, though. Rockheim suffered several major setbacks along the way, including a fire that destroyed much of the exhibition area when it was nearing completion in 2009.

In the end, the arts won out, and the effect is quite dramatic. Situated in a stunning location overlooking the fjord in Trondheim, Rockheim, Norway´s National Museum of Pop and Rock is a triumph of design, blending old and new.

The base is a converted grain factory with a huge, boxed shaped roof addition, composed of hundreds digitally printed glass panes emblazoned with the covers of Norwegian albums. More than 14,000 LED lights installed behind the murals, allowing the façade´s colors to constantly change, courtesy of DIP-Tech, the Israeli company that pioneered digital printing on glass.

Massive projects involving tiled glass facades were unthinkable until several years ago due to cost and logistical concerns. Before digital printing, printing on glass was screen based, an expensive and labor-intensive process requiring long-term materials storage.

"With digital printing on glass, designers and architects have been freed from all creative constraints." says Yariv Ninyo, VP Marketing, DIP-Tech. "Virtually anything that can be designed on the computer can be represented across literally thousands of glass panes. The GlassJet´s versatility has been demonstrated with instillations worldwide, although as a lifelong music fan, I´m particularly pleased to have played a part of the Rockheim project."

DIP-Tech´s GlassJetTM printers operate using images from commonly used graphic formats such as PDF, PS, EPS, Tiff, BMP, and JPEG. Even photorealistic designs can now be realized via DIP-Tech´s Xpert Pack, allowing photographs, whether in whole or in part, to adorn both interior and exterior displays.

Architects can rest assured that their work will be enduring with DIP SPECTRUMTM weather- and UV-resistant and scratch-proof ceramic inks. These features are especially critical in a location like Trondheim, where the Rockheim murals will be exposed to sea water, face strong sunlight, and experience extreme temperature ranges. The basic colors can be mixed to create a broad spectrum of colors. Opacity is totally controlled by Drop-on-Demand technology, allowing for different effects using interior or sunlight through different parts of the design.

Even though designs may be printed across a huge number of panels such as in the Rockheim project, all of the logistical challenges have been mastered with DIP-Tech´s variable data feature within the software. This allows the installation to be almost a simple paint-by-numbers process. Even if a panel is damaged in transport, it can be quickly and exactly replicated.

Glass processors reap considerable rewards from leveraging the competitive edge provided by the GlassJet. Small- to-medium-runs are within budget of most projects, and massive projects are significantly simplified. In a competitive economy, this gives a clear advantage to adaptors who embrace the digital printing revolution.

Printed interior glass has become increasingly in vogue, and DIP-Tech enabled designs festoon many of the interior glasses in Rockheim as well. Representational, digitalized and abstract designs greet you at almost every turn. The key concepts of Rockheim are participation and interaction, and the eye-catching, thought-provoking designs were created to draw visitors in and engage them.

"We now have installations on virtually every continent. Architects and designers have embraced our technologies to demolish the creative and practical barriers that limited their use of glass with all of its marvelous properties. On the business side, we´ve given glass processors the ability to provide an increasingly in-demand product at previously unimaginable cost-efficient prices. Digital printing on glass is one of those wonderful win-win propositions for all involved," concludes Ninyo.

, Dip Tech

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