Nov 9, 2015 | By Kira

One of the greatest things about Slurpees—that slushy, sugary, neon-colored carbonated drink made famous by 7-Elevens around the world—is the distinctive ‘slurp’ sound for which the drink was named. Nothing is more satisfying or refreshing on a hot summer’s day than the combination of that sound, the extreme sugar-rush, and, for most of us, brain-freeze that comes with downing a 7-Eleven Slurpee. Now, sound is playing a more important role than ever in the multi-sensory Slurpee experience—Leo Burnett Australia has found a way to use sound itself to shape a series of 3D printed cups for Slurpee BYO Cup Day.

Slurpee’s BYO (Bring Your Own) Cup Day is an annual event that invites Slurpee-lovers to bring their own cups (or containers, or shoes, or bowls, or whatever they have on hand) to their local 7-Eleven, and fill them with their favorite Slurpee flavors. Though many adults may see the Slurpee as just another hyped-up, sugar-laden frozen beverage, the drink has reached something like cult-status amongst youth and teenagers, surely due to its low price, high sugar content, and long list of novelty flavours (including Coke, Mountain Dew and Cherry, but also Pink Fink, Moonshine and Sticky Icky). Though quite a novel event, BYO Cup Day is marketed as a fun way for fans to express their creativity—with people showing up with everything from fishbowls to teapots to (hopefully clean) shoes.

This year, in collaboration with Leo Burnett Melbourne, Slurpee cups got a unique audio makeover, as the company set out to create cups out of the seemingly impossible: sound. They began by recording three radio ads for BYO Cup Day 2015, each with their own voice-over and distinct soundscape in the background: a Viking opera, a football stadium of cheering Brazilian fans, and the mating calls of two ‘frisky’ whales.

They then digitally layered each individual soundwave using a suite of digital 3D modeling tools. The voiceover soundwaves created the circumference of the cup’s rim, while the peaks and troughs of the background sound effects determined the height and unique body shape. The two intersecting soundwaves were then meshed together to create the 3D model, which were sent to 3D printers for production.

The result are funky, spiral-shaped plastic cups in bright colours, that will bring all the senses together—sight, smell, touch, taste, and of course, sound—as Slurpee-lovers enjoy their favourite summer-time drink. According to Leo Burnett, fans in Melbourne could either download the 3D files and 3D print a Sound Cup for themselves, or they could win one on Slurpee’s Facebook page.

“Slurpee BYO Cup Day is now an event where fans are the creators and they prove their ingenuity every year. Sound Cup is just another way to stimulate their imaginations and inspire cup creativity,” said Jason Williams, ECD, Leo Burnett Melbourne.

Though it may not seem the like the most obvious application of 3D printing technology, the Slurpee Sound Cups are a very interesting visualization of sound, turning the seemingly intangible into a physical consumer object. The technology could be used for a variety of personal projects—from transforming your favourite song or even a message from a loved one into unique, long-lasting 3D printed keepsakes.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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