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Artist creates 3D-printed voice sculpture of Obama's speech

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November 28, 2013

This 3D-printed sculpture is a three-dimensional materialization of President Obama’s voic...

This 3D-printed sculpture is a three-dimensional materialization of President Obama’s voiceprint (Photo: Gilles Azzaro)

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It seems there's little that you can't create with 3D printing; we've recently seen lingerie, guns, rocket engines, musical instruments and even rooms. French artist Gilles Azzaro, however, uses the technology to capture something much more abstract. His 3D-printed sculptures of voice recordings resemble alien landscapes, with high and low tones represented as peaks and troughs. Instead of only hearing the rich tones of Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, you can see them too, in Azzaro's latest sculpture entitled "Next Industrial Revolution."

Interestingly, in the 39-second clip of Obama's voice, the president expresses his views on how 3D printing could potentially revolutionize the way things are made.

To materialize a person's spoken words into a more permanent form, Azzaro created programming software that could digitally reconstruct a person's voice in three dimensions, which he subsequently patented. His early attempts at creating sculptures out of these voice prints suffered without access to the right tools, but all that changed when 3D printers came along.

A laser light lets viewers know what part of the soundscape they are listening to (Photo: ...

Converting the snippet of Obama's address into a three-dimensional image took the software about five hours. The final beautifully-contoured 5-foot (1.5-m) voice sculpture took around 350 hours to print, using a desktop 3D printer. Weighing about 6 kg (22 lb) in total, the interactive sculpture lets a person see the part of the speech they are listening to, as a laser light passes over it.

Aside from immortalizing Obama's voice, Azzaro has also created voice sculptures of Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Neil Armstrong, Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy and others.

Check out a video of Obama's voice sculpture, and a video showing how it was made, below.

Source: Gilles Azzaro via Wired UK

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.   All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana
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4 Comments

Looks like a bunch of pinocchio noses.

englishrancher
28th November, 2013 @ 12:18 pm PST

This is a brilliant stroke of genius and beauty. I look forward to seeing it in person and purchased by Art philanthropists.

AAAddison
29th November, 2013 @ 10:48 am PST

wow now i know what boring looks like

drgnfly004
30th November, 2013 @ 01:29 pm PST

I'm not sure how much this project cost to accomplish, but I could of produced the same results with ah bull, couple bails of hey and a little patiences...

R13
10th December, 2013 @ 08:19 am PST
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