3D Printed Records: We Talk to the Creator About Her Work, 3D Printing Potential

3D printing is transforming digital information into objects in ways we haven’t seen before. However, a project has been making the rounds through online media partly because it recalls a familiar object: the musical record. Amanda Ghassaei’s 3D-printed record sounds crude, but it makes clear the connection of data to printed, physical form: take a music file, make a printed album. Amanda writes: I’m a really big fan of your blogs and I thought you might like a project I’ve recently published on instructables: I managed to actually print a working (although quite noisy) record on a 3D printer. I …

The man who fell to Earth: Onyx Ashanti's open source hardware/software rig goes beyond computer and acoustic interfaces, alike, in a cyborg-style, enhanced human performance rig. Photo Zin Chiang, at CDM's recent Open Source Music showcase at Retune, Berlin.

Way Out From Behind The Laptop: Onyx Ashanti’s Beatjazz-Augmented Body Keeps Mutating

Onyx Ashanti can wail on a computer with no computer in sight, jamming on a virtual horn that has vanished into his cyborg-like live rig. Mouthpiece and head-mounted prosthesis replace what might have been a virtual reality helmet – or sax reed. Sensors in his hands provide more expression. But this isn’t just some flash and theater, while a laptop dutifully plays back loops. It’s really an interface to performance, both surfing samples and providing live solo lines improvised in real-time, in mid-air. For a sense of what I mean, check out the party hosted by Berlin’s Mindpirates, at an …


Universal Everything, Ongoing Beautiful Work with Digital Form, New Studio Tour Documentary

Tai Chi / 5 Video Artworks / Framed Gallery, Tokyo from Universal Everything on Vimeo. Universal Everything is a design shop that continues as a standard bearer for expressive digital forms, a high water mark in electronic expression. Founded by the UK’s Matt Pyke, the creative team now spans England and Holland. From top, two recent works: Tai Chi / 5 Video Artworks / Framed Gallery, Tokyo, and a group show of 3D-printed objects called “Voxel Posse,” with computational art maestro Karsten Schmidt at The Brewery, London. Now, Creators Project take a studio tour to see how Universal Everything creates …

3D printing can not only replicate existing forms - it can produce new ones. The Atom Guitar, from Odd Guitars. Courtesy the manufacturer.

Six 3D-Printed Musical Instruments, and What 3D Printing Could Do for Musicians

3D printing has quickly risen to buzzword, from a technology initially of interest primarily to hobbyists to one that is catching mainstream business and consumer attention. But the actual substance continues to catch up with potential and expectations. Here are six examples of musical instruments that have taken on 3D printing as a challenge. They may not yet compete entirely with wood and other conventional materials. But they do actually play music, and by pushing against the limitations of the technology, they both reveal what’s possible and refine printing’s usefulness. Arvid Jense, Create Digital Music’s summer intern and himself both …


3D Printing, From Headphones to Synth Accessories, Shows Both Promise and Obstacles

Take it from one now immersed in manufacturing – making things is an epic process of production, delays, shipping, customs… 3D printing is the latest DIY technology to promise to get around that, armed by the seemingly-magical translation of digital files into objects in a way other machines cannot. We’ll be looking in depth at what 3D printing can mean for music starting next week, as interest in this technology reaches fever pitch, but here are a couple of revealing case studies. For Teenage Engineering, makers of the OP-1 synthesizer, 3D printing seems to be a real breakthrough. Their line …


Nature, Through a Window: Moon, Fire, Water, in Light and Engravings, by Craig Dorety

Realizing the materiality of Earth and the Moon in new forms, artist Craig Dorety is rendering natural forms in light and engravings. For the Moon, he turns to carving techniques to mirror new data about the lunar surface – and, thanks to an SF Awesome Grant, he’s got some spare change to upgrade his CNC router. It’s a beautiful example of how art can make use of data, bringing together disciplines. (Okay, there isn’t any motion here to speak of, but the relevance of the 3D imaging technology here is clear and inspiring.) Lunar Topography Carvings http://craigdorety.com/lunar_topo.html Geeking out for …


Piccolo is an Open, $70 CNC-bot That Will Draw For You

Piccolo is like candy for people who like robots and drawing machines. It’s affordable, cute, and downright fun. It’s going to be on your Christmas in July wanted list. How awesome is it? Let us count the ways: It’s under US$70. It’s Arduino-compatible. It works with Processing – ideal for drawing experiments. It’s open source hardware. It’s easy to assemble. You can make 2D and 3D things – and it appears to excel as a drawing machine. Connect it to Arduino, and you can make your own sensor-driven drawings and other creations. I’m really excited to meet the creators when …


Digital to Physical: From Blender to Paper Object – With a Lot of Elbow Grease

Export to physical object… Now, for many, that means some kind of fancy 3D printing that will soon revolutionize the world, bringing us into the realm of the matter-from-nothing science fiction of Star Trek. Well, or you could just do some work. That’s what artist Mike Greer documents in a lovely timelapse video, in which a Blender 3D model is transformed before your very eyes into a material, paper rendition. I can imagine plenty of possibilities for this sort of work, from art installation to special effects and motion in which models go between real-for-real and virtual versions. But regardless, …


From Sounds to Wave Patterns to iPhone Cases, a Design Made from Footsteps

Adorn your iPhone with audio, courtesy 3D printers Shapeways and an unusual use of the SoundCloud API to get at the data. The content we watch on the Internet is, ultimately, just data. We view that data in fairly narrow, conventional ways, but there’s no reason that has to be the limit. In one of the more novel applications of the API for audio-storing service SoundCloud, one 3D printer is happily turning your music tracks and recordings into custom iPhone cases, each uniquely based on the waveform of your sounds. This week in Austin at South by Southwest, SoundCloud was …


Voice Messages Become 3D Paper Waveform Sculptures: Paper Note

Instead of writing on paper, a sound executed in paper in three dimensions. All images courtesy the artists. Speaking of making the ephemeral tangible, as artist Andrew Spitz tells us, “it’s a fun process to map something that is so fleeting as a sound to a physical object.” That’s what he does in a new collaboration with Andrew Nip of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in Denmark. It’s a simple process – and that’s a good thing, as it means anyone with access to a laser cutter can get in on the fun. Using software written in the open …