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In the course of their work, museum technicians use carpenters' and electricians' hand and power tools on such materials as plywood, wood, fiberglass, plexiglass, and metal to build structures and displays and to assemble them in place. They often begin a project by consulting with museum scientists or curators to gather information about a new exhibit or by studying sketches or engineering drawings to gain an idea of what is to be displayed, then suggesting display layouts. When the exhibit format has been decided, technicians cut and fit parts of the display structure—which may range from a cabinet to a rearrangement of an entire museum wing—and add fittings, lighting fixtures and wiring, plumbing when necessary, and audiovisual equipment or audio speakers if necessary. They test and adjust components when the exhibit has been assembled. They may also help arrange pieces to be exhibited in the cases they have constructed, often working alongside a museum preparator.
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