FABMOBs Links Big Data to 3D Printing

By on January 3rd, 2015 in Design

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A startup hopes to demonstrate their ability to convert large-scale databases into artistic visualizations. 

FABMOBs has developed a platform for processing digitally collected data into generated 3D models, suitable for printing. Their vision is: 

To reveal the creative potential of digital fabrication: engaging content for small business, craftsmen & tradesmen, designers, Makers, early adapters, education, activists and the home market.

If this is a bit vague, let’s examine their first demonstration project that should clarify what they’re doing. The ATMOStag project attempts to “print the atmosphere”. Here’s how it works: they collect actual atmospheric data, in this case surrounding a pond in France, to form the database. 

Their definition of “atmosphere” is more than just the gases at the Earth’s surface, but includes other factors, all of which contribute to the human atmospheric experience. Collected data includes: temperature, humidity, light levels, audio levels, carbon dioxide content, nitrogen dioxide levels and more. 

These factors are smashed together using their software tool to generate a “tag”, which is a small tile uniquely representing the data collected at a point. By doing repeated observations and corresponding 3D printing, they can create a large artistic visualization of the local atmosphere, as they define it. The aerial view image of the pond at top shows how the tiles could be organized.

Their launch campaign asks for support by purchasing tags in varying quantities and materials. They’ll even supply a complete, custom-located ATMOStag installation for USD$10,000. 

This is a very unusual project and it will be interesting to see the level of support they receive. We suspect there should be sufficient interest to make this project successful. 

Via FABMOBS and Kickstarter

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!