How To Create a 3D Art Display

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This post explores how to create a 3D art display, which has been very cleverly designed using our Tensioners. I absolutely love the playfulness in this art exhibit. The Library of the city of Boucherville worked in conjunction with the Quebec Province Department of Education to create an interactive media room in the library as a space where various art displays can be presented on a 3 - 4 times per year rotation.

The art in these photos comes from local high school students.

Thinking artistically, they designed a whimsical and intimate floating 3D art display, yet one with practical functionality and which allows for changes of the art pieces, without fuss or complications.

Dimensional art display in public library.

Since this art display is free-floating, the library also needed a way to inform visitors of the artist for each piece and any additional pertinent background information. If you look at the left side of the image above, you'll notice this was accomplished by creating an additional, smaller display using our Acrylic Pockets. While the display is extremely creative, there are three hardware technical observations that I wish to highlight. The first of these notable hardware-specific observations is the way the cables are suspended. Note the clever way the cables extend through the suspended ceiling structure. There is a slight gap created in the ceiling tiles by custom cutting the acoustical ceiling tiles on site. These cut edges were then finished with a commonly available molding. The result is an installation where the cables extend upward through the finished ceiling. Our Classic Ceiling Track is supporting the cables from above the grid ceiling tiles. These tracks are attached, out of view, to the ceiling trusses of the building structure.

Floating 3D art display using a Tensioned Cable System with cable passing through slots fabricated into ceiling tiles.

What a sanitary design. Maintaining the design integrity of the ceiling, while making sure that the edges of the ceiling tiles are trimmed out, limits distractions to the art display. Very impressively executed.

Floating art display created by using a Tensioned Cable System.

The second noteworthy hardware observation is how the cables are secured on the lower end. These lower ends of the cables need to be securely attached at the floor, and the means to do this must stand up to the rigors of a public space. Commercial vacuums and other maintenance procedures, as well as kicking by passing shoes and strollers, book carts, etc., all create a substantial threat to the system's integrity. Taking a closer look at the way the tensioned cable system is installed, you'll notice that Ceiling Track is mounted upside down to the floor. This is a very stout extruded shape and can stand up to considerable abuse. That strength establishes a good foundation for this free-floating art display. It should serve well for a considerable period of time.

Tensioned Cable System creates 3D art display.

J-End Cable Tensioners attached to floor-mounted Ceiling Track.

J-End Cable Tensioners are attached at the floor-end of the cables. This allows for easy installation and adjustments, and a clean sanitary look that has no sharp edges, which is a good attribute in this sort of space.

3D art floats mid-air using Mini Hooks on a tensioned cable system.

The third hardware specific sub-story to witness is a simple hook, without which this adjustable design would not be possible. The art pieces, in this case made of paper maché, are attached to the cables with Mini Hooks. These are a critical enabling component. This patented design allows attachment or removal of the hooks to the cables while the cables are kept in place. This is the only hook in the industry that has this capability and is available only through AS Hanging Display Systems. This functionality is of significant importance because it allows for the art display to be adjusted, updated, or completely reset with new pieces anywhere along the cables simply by adding or removing the Mini Hooks as needed. Every other system or hook would require the cables to be completely removed. All of this bother would be costly from a labor perspective and most likely require the replacement of some portion of the cables.

3D art suspended mid-air along cables using Mini Hooks.

3D art display created using a tensioned cable system in multi-purpose room of public library.

The Boucherville Library 3D display creates such a whimsical and playful structure for showing off art projects. But a tensioned cable display system isn't restricted to 3D art pieces. Photographs, paintings, drawings, signage and so much more can be displayed with this system. Here are just some examples.

Has this spurred a creative idea for implementing a free-floating display using a Tensioned Cable System in your office, school, library, or museum? Share with us where you might implement a similar whimsical display.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how our products can be beneficial in your project, please contact our Customer Support at, or give us a call at 866 935-6949 (toll free).

When you hang with AS Hanging Systems, you Hang with the Best®