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Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum Renovates "Trial Square" Zone to Offer "Space Project," Japan's First 3D Design and Printing Experience

No.1770
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Tokyo, February 7, 2014 -Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum will begin featuring a new "Space Project" experiment program at its newly renovated "Trial Square" zone. The program is the first at a Japanese science museum to offer visitors a hands-on 3D design and printing experience using a state-of-the-art 3D printer. The program, which was created in collaboration with Keyence Corporation, allows visitors to design a futuristic vehicle for mining operations on the lunar surface. Visitors will also be able to experience mining vehicle designing and virtual lunar mining operations, and take home a 3D model of a lunar mining vehicle as a souvenir of their visit to the museum.

The Space Project allows visitors to participate in a hypothetical 2020 lunar mining mission by designing a "DODECATRON*" mining vehicle. The experience consist of "Mission Lab" in which 12 visitors simultaneously work together as a team to design, and "Custom Lab" the visitor individually challenge to design. Both programs require on-site reservation at the museum; first-come and first-served basis. Like the museum's other vehicle design programs, the Space Project provides visitors with the context of an exciting storyline in which to experience the challenge of achieving a project goal on schedule.

In the case of the Mission Lab, participants use a futuristic "GA-BAN" design tool to collaborate on the design of a "DODECATRON" mining vehicle. Each participant will be respectively take charge in designing of the size, shape, and positioning of the engine, cockpit, rollers for vehicle locomotion, and other components. They can then operate the vehicle, and have it perform various mining operations on the virtual lunar surface. As a souvenir of their experience, each visitor is presented with a model of a standard-configuration "DODECATRON" fabricated by a Keyence 3D printer. The fee for participation is 500 yen per person.

In the case of the Custom Lab, participants use a dedicated tablet computer to single-handedly design all 12 of the components that make up the "DODECATRON." A model based on their original design will subsequently be produced by a 3D printer and sent to them by post. Up to 36 visitors can participate in a day. The fee for participation is 2,500 yen.

MHI business operations span energy and the environment, transportation, defense and aerospace, machinery and equipment systems, and much more. In the field of aerospace, MHI is responsible for manufacturing and launching Japan's premier launch vehicle, the H-IIA rocket, as well as the H-IIB rocket. The company is also engaged in space development, and has proposed a forward-looking plan for future lunar resource development. With the addition of the Space Project to the Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum "Trial Square," MHI hopes to inspire the dreams of a new generation of young achievers.

Since its renovation in January 2009, "Trial Square" has provided visitors with a unique hands-on learning experience in the design and operation of various types of ships and aircraft, and the manufacture of locomotives and automobiles. Now, five years on, it offers visitors a new way to experience the wonders that science and monozukuri craftsmanship can achieve.

The Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum was opened by MHI in Yokohama in June 1994 to promote exchanges with the local community and to foster interest in science and technology. The Museum uses actual machinery and equipment, scale models, video presentations and explanatory panels to present easy-to-understand introductions to MHI's state-of-the-art scientific technologies and products. Exhibits are divided into six zones: Environment/Energy, Aerospace, Ocean, Transportation, Daily Life Discovery and Technology Quest. The Museum welcomed its two millionth visitor in October 2012 and will mark its 20th year in June 2014.

The Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum was opened by MHI in Yokohama in June 1994 to promote exchanges with the local community and to foster interest in science and technology. The museum uses actual machinery and equipment, scale models, video presentations and explanatory panels to present easy-to-understand introductions to MHI's state-of-the-art technologies and products. Exhibits are divided into six zones: Environment/Energy, Aerospace, Ocean, Transportation, Daily Life Discovery and Technology Quest. The museum welcomed its 2 millionth visitor in October 2012 and will mark its 20th anniversary in June this year.

* DODECATRON: In Greek, "dodeca" means 12 and "tron" means equipment.

Outline of Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum

Location:
Mitsubishijuko Yokohama Building,
3-1, Minatomirai 3-chome, Nishi-ku,
Yokohama 220-8401
Telephone:
+81-45-200-7351
Fax:
+81-45-200-9902
Access:
3-minute walk from Minatomirai Station on the Minatomirai Subway Line;
8-minute walk from Sakuragicho Station on the JR Negishi Line or Yokohama Subway Line
Open hours:
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:30 p.m.)
Closed days:
Mondays (Tuesday, when Monday is a national holiday) From April 2014, Tuesdays will be close days (Wednesday, when Tuesday is a national holiday)
Admission fee:
500 yen for adults
300 yen for junior and senior high school students
200 yen for elementary school students
100 yen discount per person for groups of 20 or more people
Admission is free for elementary school, junior and senior high school and university field trip visits, provided a reservation is made at least three days in advance of the visit.