REALISE Soundscapes: Preserve Audio Memories with 3D Printed Souvenirs

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Matthew Elliott

What is the soundtrack to your life? Whether it’s the hum of traffic, the clickclack of a backlit keyboard, or the din of a bustling storefront, you probably also enjoy getting away to enjoy the rich textures of sound in a more relaxing landscape. What if you could not only keep the memories of those sounds in your mind or on video, but actually hold them in your hand?

REALISE Soundscapes is a project centered around highlighting and 3D printing audio moments. The innovative idea was brought to fruition by Matthew Elliott (website here) who is in his final year of studies at Edinburgh Napier University. Inspired by the popularity of and thriving industry for travel souvenirs, Elliott wanted to focus on allowing us to remember the incredible sounds we may have heard while engaged in a moment—but in physical form.

If you could have a souvenir of that favorite song, what would it look like in 3D? What about that moment in time, engaged in the frenetic afternoon pace of the city, where you stopped just to soak in the sounds of NYC with horns honking and motors revving? Or, just like the afternoon sun was with you on a memorable day hiking in the mountains, and preserved in a visual memory, now the sounds of birds chirping and the wind whistling can be too.

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With the idea that you should be able to take the sounds of travel back with you, Elliott set out to find a way not just to produce this for others, but to allow them a portable device, in the form of the Soundscapes speaker, so that they could preserve the particular sounds they desired to save forever. Even better, if they don’t want to take the speaker with them, they can of course (who doesn’t have an app these days?) record it on a mobile app and upload it to Soundscapes.

“The project was designed following a brief developed as a result of research looking into the reasons behind attachment and collection of travel souvenirs,” Elliott told 3DPrint.com.

Once you save a sound with your Soundscapes speaker, Elliott takes it from there to produce a 3D printed sculpture.c2

“Once recorded the user would send me the sound,” Elliott told us. “I can then add their sound to a pre-built model, created in Cinema 4D. The sound affects the shape of the model, which can then be exported as an stl file and 3D printed.”

The 3D model comes out as a classical looking monument to sound, reminding one of what you would see as the visuals on a recording device, but in tangible form, demonstrating the variances and array of different levels we experience when hearing. Like a small 3D printed city of audiovisual bars, the model is a thing of beauty in itself.

While we’ve reported on the idea of 3D printed sound previously, this is a completely unique idea as it not only gives the user something to hold onto physically as they preserve a memory, but they can actually view it in technical form.

Have you ever wished you could hold a sound in a tangible form, or wish you had a better way to recall it and savor it once you were back into the everyday grind? Tell us about it in the REALISE Soundscapes forum over at 3DPB.com.

 

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