Apr. 2, 2015 | By Alec

Over the years we’ve witnessed the development of all sorts of 3D printed innovations that can affect and improve just about any aspect of our daily lives. Some are aimed at parts of our lives that we would never associate with 3D printing, but are somehow perfect additions to those areas. In that sense, even religion isn’t out of reach. If a 3D printed creation can add to someone’s personal religious experience, why shouldn’t it be a welcome addition?

That is exactly what Bahraini designer Othman M.R Khunji has sought to create. For a course from the Virginia Commonwealth University, from which he is about to graduate with an MFA degree in design studies, Othman designed a 3D printed device that intends to make the Islamic Prayer more worthwhile to children and adults who need a reminder to continue remembering Allah through their prayers. The Prayary is effectively an Islamic prayer mat with a mechanism built into it that, through the basic motions of prayer, creates a rosary. As Othman explains to 3ders.org, the Prayary embeds the value and beauty of your religious experience into the ‘Misbah’ rosary, allowing you to sustain the connection you felt with Allah, Salat and prayer even after you’re done with praying.

Designer Othman M.R Khunji

As Othman explains to us, he is an interdisciplinary designer from Bahrain, though his fascination for the fields of interior, fashion, product and space design has already taken him all over the world – from Colombia, to Dubai and Qatar. He currently works as an Interdisciplinary Collaborator and a Media Specialist at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Having previously worked for organizations such as French House Design, Northwestern University & Qatar TV, he is continuously focusing on various activities in different sectors of art/design. Currently he is looking into social behaviors within the Gulf region from an Islamic prospective, trying to build bridges between many Muslim stereotypes through the language of design.

From that perspective, he was quickly inspired to build the Prayary with his 3D printer. "The idea came to life from a course challenge with my MFA degree called REMAKE which we were instructed to change an existing item and change its form and function," he explains. "A memory from childhood triggered, when I was always forced to pray and I never properly understood the value nor wanted to practice the ritual of praying, hence I through to design an object that makes praying more engaging and rewarding, and the Prayary came to life."

The idea is that this Prayary can be used to add an additional incentive to participating in Islamic prayer in an analogue manner, bringing religion and tradition to a contemporary state without altering it. To do so, Othman heavily experimented with woodcutting and 3D printing. As you can see in the demonstration clip below, the actual frame of the Prayary is made from wood (it needs to sustain your weight after all), while a the mechanism has been 3D printed on his Dimension and Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printers. The poetic Quranic verses on the rosary beads have been made with UV printing technology, while the bead’s material have been made with a laser cutter.

So how does it work? In a nutshell, the Prayary springs into action during the ‘Sujood’, or the position of total surrender to Allah, when your forehead touches the praying mat. This triggers the mechanism to pull on the cartridges with the right amount of tension. "[This allows] the canvas material or thick tracing paper to be pulled and directed into the glue box and finally rolling around the iron rod, forming rock solid beads," Othman explains.

Through these movements, a custom rosary is made that perfectly reflects your own efforts during prayer. "In a way you are capturing time and accuracy of your prayers and being able to, from physical praying to now continuously also pray tangibly through your rosary." As so many religious people from all different backgrounds and religions will verify, their ancient rituals and experiences are very compatible with modern life and society. And it looks like Othman, through his 3D printed Prayary, proves that modern manufacturing techniques are no exception. 




Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Taiyaba sabir wrote at 2/2/2017 12:56:12 AM:

Salaam brother i am interested in purchasing this 3d prayer mat can you give me more details. Taiyaba.sabir@nhs.net

Bill wrote at 4/4/2015 1:06:24 AM:

Interesting, a machine to restore meaning to ritual.

EgenBaum wrote at 4/4/2015 12:01:48 AM:

Glad to see a backwards middle ages culture wants to use infidel innovations to further their growth and make it convenient give modern head choppers extra time to murder and subjugate. Especially posting this a day after Christians were murdered in cold blood a a day before Good Friday. Good taste in subject matter.

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