Dec 2, 2016 | By Julia

The beginnings of the world’s first piece of 3D printed space art hits smartphones and tablets today. Next stop? Earth’s outer hemisphere. Headed by Israeli digital artist Eyal Gever in collaboration with NASA contractor Made in Space, #Laugh is a global crowdsourced art project that will give us the first piece of art to be created in space.

For such a groundbreaking project, the core concept is quite simple: a human laugh, visualized as sculpture. It’s easy to take part: the first step is downloading the #Laugh app, which will enable users to record, visualize, and share their own laugh as a 3D model, or “laugh star.” The laugh star that gets the most online traction will be 3D printed aboard the International Space Station’s zero-gravity 3D printer.

As the #Laugh website explains, “people from all around the world can record themselves laughing, visualize it via the #Laugh app and share it with their friends. The laughter with the most likes after one month will be sent to the International Space Station to be 3D-printed and then released into orbit.”

a visualized laugh sculpture

Made possible by the new Additive Manufacturing Facility aboard the ISS – the zero-gravity 3D printer by Made in Space and NASA – the new #Laugh project is no joke. Gever will send the chosen sculpture design file from his Tel Aviv studio to the NASA Operations Support Centre in Alabama, which will pass along the laugh sculpture to the ISS via satellite.

In development for the last two years, #Laugh began with a phone call from Made in Space, the NASA contractor established in 2010 with the central goal of “enabling humanity’s future in space.” Gever was posed with the question, “What would you do if you could create art in zero gravity?”

artist Eyal Gever

Previously, the Israeli contemporary artist was best known for his life-like digital simulations of often dramatic or catastrophic moments in time, created as 3D printed sculptures and installations. Examples include scenarios such as tsunamis, bus crashes and oil spills, as well as more recent works like his 2015 projection "Waterdancer" (pictured above). This time, however, Gever decided to focus on subject matter that is decidedly more lighthearted, yet no less human.

“The earliest cave paintings were of human hands which were a way of proclaiming and celebrating the presence of humanity,” Gever explains. “#Laugh will be the 21st century version of that – a mathematically accurate encapsulation of human laughter, simply floating through space, waiting to be discovered.”

The idea to create a 3D sculpture fabricated from a sound simulation of crowd-sourced laughter was born.

Made in Space sees this initiative as fundamental to the coming space age. “If humanity is one day soon to thrive in space,” the NASA contractor reasons, “then creating art and culture in space is equally as important as sending out people and the technology to support them.”

You can download the #Laugh app here. One month from now, one lucky chuckler will be chosen to have their laugh 3D printed in outer space, and released into orbit for eons to come. It could be you!

 

 

Posted in Fun with 3D Printing

 

 

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