3D Printing Helps Visualize Harmony In New Ways

Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Harmonic Series (Courtesy The Harmonic Series)

The Harmonic Series (Courtesy The Harmonic Series)

In the 1800s, a French mathematician named Jules Lissajous began using parametric equations, beams of light, mirrors, and vibrating tuning forks to investigate harmonic motion creating what is known as the Lissajous curve. More than a century later at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, students Manuela Donoso and Luisa Pereira began using the Lissajous’ curve to further explore ways to visually represent musical harmony, using 3D printing technology to produce harmonic sculptures. Last fall, the pair also started using speakers, mirrors, and lasers to create devices and software that make prints and sculptures. They call their project The Harmonic Series. But they aren’t the only ones 3D printing music these days. Richard Dahlstrand of Sweden hacked a Lulzbot 3D printer to play and print classical pieces of music.

Continue reading after the jump.

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