David McCallum writes, "I made an interface to play a 3D printer like it's a musical instrument."
This is a significant improvement on the laser cutter that plays the Super Mario theme: it can play more than one song!
The Harp is a prototype physical interface to control a 3D printer to create (noise) music. Printers sing their own songs when printing objects, and the Harp conducts these sounds to sing new songs.
Six "strings" are stroked to trigger gestures from the printer, and the strength of the stroke affects the expression of the gesture by controlling its pitch. The gestures come from the code to print the strings, so the machine is in effect performing parts of its own construction.
Why did I make this? Consider two points:
First, our brains ignore many of the sounds around us, but hidden in those sounds is music, or the potential for music.
Second, we are often told what the tools of digital fabrication are and what they're good for, usually by an evangelist or a company trying to sell us something. This perspective is a narrow representation of what these tools are; they are so much more (and less). Consider the energy consumption. Consider all that extra plastic in the world! Consider the music…
Comcast offered to get internet service to (96% of) the good people of Charlemont, Mass in exchange for a $462,123 subsidy; instead, the town of 1300 voted to reject the offer and spend $1.4M to build their own super-fast fiber network.
Rocky Bergen creates gorgeous, downloadable papercraft models of retro PCs, from the Commodore 64 to the Apple ][+ to the Amstrad, with different screens to print celebrating classic 8-bit games, and accessories like tiny floppies in tiny paper sleeves. As Waxy points out, these would make stunning Christmas ornaments.
Frustratingly, this video has no data about the identity of the incredible genius featured therein. Who is she?
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