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0210ctt sound ceramics

Published on February 10th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


Video: Solid Vibrations project 3-D-prints sound waves in ceramic pottery

Published on February 10th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: Olivier van Herpt 



Don’t you love it when science infiltrates unexpected nooks and crannies of your life?


Like when science blurs lines with art, whether in the form of your favorite piece of pottery or glasswork. Or like that time that science squared off against sound.


In that science vs. sound story, cymatics (the visualization of audio frequencies) is captivating and inspiring. But those patterns are the direct result of pure science—à la audio waves.


Artist Olivier van Herpt is also harnessing the scientific power of audio in a new project experimenting with how sound intersects with a different medium: 3-D printed ceramics.


0201ctt sound ceramics2 lo res

Credit: Olivier van Herpt


After getting inspired by the accidental incorporation of ambient sound into 3-D printed pottery, Van Herpt teamed up with sound designer Ricky van Broekhoven to purposefully engineer sound into ceramics. The project, called Solid Vibrations, allowed the pair to fabricate unique pieces of pottery than literally embody sound.


To create uniquely patterned vessels, the duo positioned an audio speaker just below a ceramic 3-D printer and piped low-pitched sounds through the speaker. As the printer extruded ceramics into the digitally determined configuration, sound vibrations created slight, regular disturbances that patterned deposition of the ceramic.


According to the project description on van Herpt’s website, “A moment in time, a song a sound, they can now become objects that encapsulate the moment forever. Vibrations turned into shapes by the 3-D printer.”


See for yourself in the short video below.


Credit: StudioVanBroekhoven; Vimeo

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