Apr. 11, 2015 | By Simon

The act of using a song or other soundwave and turning it into a 3D printable object isn’t necessarily something that’s new - but its applications certainly haven’t been explored to their full potential.  Previously, we’ve seen applications where people have taken snippets of a sentimental sound - such as a first word or a phrase from a loved one - and then turned that into a small 3D printed object such as a bracelet or a small necklace charm.  

Now, a new company from Brooklyn, NY consisting of artists and software engineers wants to take the concept to a whole new level.

The company, REIFY, was born out of NEW INC, an incubator for startups that is funded by the New Museum in New York City.  The shared workspace and professional development program is designed to support creative practitioners who work in the areas of art, technology and design.

After just a few short months of development in the NEW INC incubator, Founder and CEO Allison Wood has not only created an impressive portfolio of 3D printed objects created from soundwaves, but has also assembled an experienced team to join her including master technologist Kei Gowda, creative coder David Lobser and UX/UI Designer Christine Whitehall.  Between the four of them, REIFY has been focused on making the experience of creating 3D printed objects from soundwaves better than ever before through a multi-dimensional platform that includes their own custom smartphone app that allows users to “listen” to the 3D sculptures.  

While they are yet to officially launch, the team has made rapid progress considering how young the company is.  Currently, the team works out of an office in Bushwick, Brooklyn while retaining a part-time membership with the NEW INC incubator in Manhattan.    

Among other projects that the team has worked on, the team has been experimented with creating sculptures using a variety of different 3D printing materials including plastic, bronze and coconut husk.  

As for designing the actual sculptures from sourced soundwaves, REIFY explores the three-dimensional potential of audible sound waves using custom software written by the team.  The waves are capable of being shaped and molded within the software and can then be sent to a 3D printer to be created as a physical object and then “listened to” using the company’s augmented reality app to convert the sculpture back into the original sound from which it came.

As far as where the company sources their sound material from, it can come in any form including a single, an album, a poem, a deep space sound or any other audible tone - however they have been focusing primarily on single-track musical input.  So far they have made objects from tracks by artists including Robert Wagner, David Byrne, Nick Drake and Gordon Lightfoot, among others.  

As for what’s next for the young company, they plan to print entire iconic albums and longer soundwave files from other compelling sources.  Currrently, they are sharing their latest prints on the REIFY Tumblr.     



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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