Mar. 2, 2015 | By Simon

Normally when we hear about “innovations in 3D printing”, the bulk of those innovations are centered around new and improved ways of creating physical objects using additive manufacturing techniques.  Between the legions of Kickstarter projects to material advancements and applications for 3D printing, it seems like everyday we are met with tens of exciting new developments...however few have been as unusual as this “innovation”.

Andrew Sink, a Maker based out of Richmond, Virginia on the eastern side of the United States, has recently ‘hacked’ his 3D printer to be able to play the ‘Jurassic Park’ theme song.

Of course, creating a song using a 3D printer means two things: whoever did it was likely to have to do some programming and it was likely not easy.  In Sink’s case, both are correct.  

"Inspired by the old printer that played the E1M1 music from my favorite video game Doom, I decided to see how difficult it would be to get my 3D printer to do the same thing with the theme from Jurassic Park.  (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t easy)," wrote Sink on his blog.

To create the “Singing 3D Printer”, Sink utilized a downloaded MIDI file of the original theme that he found at MovieThemes.net and converted it to something that the 3D printer would recognize - g-code.  The programming language is used by both 3D printers and other machining tools to determine paths for creating a part (or parts).  In the case of Sink’s project, the code was used to control what would ultimately be notes of the popular movie theme song.  To convert the MIDI into g-code, Sink used HomeConstructor.de.

Of course, none of these came as simply as just pushing a generator button.

“It took a few hours of tweaking, and I had to examine the MIDI file in Garageband to see what channel the melody was on,” said Sink on his blog.   

Once he had converted the MIDI file to g-code, Sink then isolated the melody and programmed the X and Y axes of the printer with the code, which would ultimately lead to the proper notes of the song.  

Of course, what would a Jurassic Park theme song-playing 3D printer be without at least a little bit of 3D printed T-Rex?  To bring the 3D printer even more into the Jurassic Park theme, Sink even added a 3D printed T-Rex to his machine as you can see in the video below.  The motif that Sink used for his own version below starts at around the 1:25 mark of the original theme song video posted above:

For anybody who wants to create their own “singing 3D printer”, Sink has generously supplied users with the necessary g-code and, of course, the 3D print files for the absolutely-necessary T-Rex skull over on his blog post.  

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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