Nov 22, 2015 | By Alec

While many industries are adopting 3D printing as a cheap and convenient prototyping option, many artists are beginning to use it to reimagine what their fields are all about. Over the last few months, we’ve seen a couple of particularly interesting examples of this trend in the field of architecture, where for instance Daghan Cam is using algorithms to generate new 3D printable structures. However, a new and very intriguing concept has come out of the minds of recently graduated architectural/interactive designers Seiya Kobayashi and David Tracy, who recently revealed a wall covered in 3D printed individually moving walls.

Seiya Kobayashi, as he explains to us, is currently working as a freelance IoT engineer in NYC and is a software and hardware prototyping specialist. David Tracy is an interactive design specialist with a background in architecture, and together they have come up with a particularly fascinating project. Called Latex Pixels, it is essentially an exercise in exploring the concept of alternative, moving structures that can be part of the regular environment around us. Indeed, the wall next to you could become a living interface that changes in response to an action, such as receiving an e-mail. ‘[Our goal is] to rethink the way to give notification to people in more subtle way by utilizing movement and environment,’ Seiya Kobayashi says. It all depends on the functions and commands embedded in to the structure. It can be big or small and react to as many actions as you can think of.

To back up that fascinating concept, Latex Pixels is a 3D printed wall of 40″ x 30″ that can theoretically house 37 different interactions, one for each of the hexagonal modules installed on it. ‘Each of which has a servo motor on the back that pushes a latex membrane covering the front surface of the module back and forth to express concave and convex impressions,’ Kobayashi says. ‘This is designed as an alternative notification system embedded in space. You can assign any events happening on web like receiving email or google calendar to each pixel, and when you get the event, a servo motor on the back of the pixel will push and pull the latex attached on the front to notify the information.’

As he goes on to explain, all the 3D printed frames and gears for the pixel modules have been designed in Rhino software. All 3D printing was done on a MakerBot Replicator 2, taking dozens of hours to complete – only the frame and the rubber membranes haven’t been 3D printed. A piezo sensor is attached to the head of each pushing bar, enabling users to physically interact with it. Servo motors have been attached to each pushing bar, communicating to a web interface written in JavaScript(p5.js), through which you can select which motor to move. Through that interface, any command can be added to the motors, even notifications on your calendar.

While the wall itself is relatively small, it does bring up a host of fascinating ideas about what interactive design can bring to architecture. While it would definitely be good if we took our eyes of our smartphones every now and then and interacted with a wall, can you imagine roofs that respond to rain or sidewalks that respond to ice? How can movement and interaction alter our surroundings for the better?

LatexPixels - connected with processing

Web Interface for Latex Pixels



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive