The Solid Vibration 3D Printing Project

By on February 16th, 2016 in research

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Studio van Broekhoven in Eindhoven has developed a fascinating and simple technique to incorporate sound into 3D prints. 

Here’s how they explain the project: 

Solid vibration is an ongoing collaboration with designer Olivier van Herpt. On the ceramics printer that he build, sound vibration is used to manipulate the printing process. This allows for spatially solidifying audio as it creates marvelous patterns.

They don’t say exactly how this is done, but one can imagine sophisticated software algorithms that deeply analyze musical sequences to determine waveforms that are then used to dynamically adjust the movements of the 3D printer extruder through precise tweaks to the 3D print’s GCODE. 

Nope, that’s not it. 

They use a rather simpler technique: they mount the print plate on a live speaker, which shakes the print as the print is underway. A cyclical audio pattern results in proportional cyclic movements of the print, creating fascinating textures. 

Here you can see the speaker mechanism mounted under the print plate. We suspect you must carefully choose the audio sequence, otherwise the print will not have recognizable patterns. 

Watch this video to see how it works. 

These are printed in ceramics on a custom-made 3D printer, but we suspect this approach could be used in other machines with a bit of adaptation. 

Here we see a print with a glazing that complements the sound-print, suggesting some interesting visual designs are possible. 

This technique is not for everyone, but it does suggest a feature for future 3D printers that no manufacturer has thus far implemented. 

Via Studio van Broekhoven

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!