I mentioned in the last post that I had a fun topic to share to help get the new decade started. Well, here it is!
I’ve also been mentoring Elias, something I mentioned in this post from the middle of last year. Elias is working on some really interesting stuff – both professionally and personally – and I’ve been encouraging him to share more about these activities with the world.
One of Elias’s personal passions is making music. And the tools he uses to make it sometimes come from surprising places.
Since the first time I entered a roomful of 3D printers all working at the same time, there seemed to be something musical about it. The different pitches would sometimes create a melody, a repeating pattern turn into a rhythmic groove. I wondered if there could be some way to harness their peculiar sound as an actual instrument.
Elias explored this idea during a couple of internal Autodesk Hackathons held in Tel Aviv during our annual “weeks of rest”. The first was at the end of 2017, when Elias managed to use 3D printers to create the Printesizer.
Here’s the Printesizer in action:
The audio for the above video has been captured via a smartphone microphone. The below video has better audio quality as it was captured more directly.
I’m happy to say that Elias has gone and created his first Instructable, documenting the steps you can follow to make your own Printesizer, as well as sharing his source code repository. Here’s the physical system architecture:
Elias has entered his Printesizer in the Instructables Instrument Contest.
Elias didn’t stop there, though: there was a follow-up Hackathon at the end of 2018, during which Elias created the successor to the Printesizer, the Fabulator. This version uses stepper motors directly, rather than needing multiple, bulky 3D printers.
The innovation continues! I haven’t yet had the chance to ask Elias what he created during the Hackathon that was held over the recent break (assuming one took place). I’m guessing it’s something amazing.