Research Output
Making Tourist Experiences Through Personalisable 3D Printed Souvenirs
  Gift shops are common in most museums and galleries that provide visitors with shopping experiences as well as the opportunity to transform their intangible experience of the visit to a tangible memory through the purchase of a souvenir. It can also often be shown that the souvenirs stocked within these gift shops are 'inauthentic' and 'commodified products'. This can detach the viewer from engagement with the actual heritage experience. However, technological innovations in design and personalization of tourist souvenirs, through 3D printing, offer opportunities to escape the serial reproduction of culture through creative processes that engage the visitor in the creation of meaning. Through this personal engagement in the production of the souvenir, visitors may assign more emotional value to the customized souvenirs.
This AHRC funded pilot project offers an alternative approach to the contemporary heritage souvenir experience. It proposed a range of prototypical 3D printed products, based on scanned in versions of artefacts within museums, galleries and heritage sites, in this case in collaboration with Historic Scotland. These were produced in-situ at Stirling Castle, with the intention that they could also be made by manufacturing remotely in the tourists nearest local 3D printing facility.
This paper will disseminate the outcomes of this project, including analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from observations of tourist engagement with the 3D printing process, the aesthetic appeal and commercial impact of the 3D printed souvenir and the subsequent analysis of the relationship between the tourist and heritage location.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper

  • Date:

    19 September 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    GV Recreation Leisure

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    338.4791 Tourist industry


Vettese Forster, S., Anastasiadou, C., & Calder, L. (2016). Making Tourist Experiences Through Personalisable 3D Printed Souvenirs. Making Futures, IV,



Souvenirs, tourism, tourist experience, interactive experience,

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