What if you could take data from any spreadsheet and bring it into the physical world; population growth, international spending, or even popular vacation spots? Well today we’re going to talk to Volker Schweisfurth creator of “MeliesArt” and he’ll explain how and why he brings digital data into the physical world.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Volker. Can you tell us about where you developed the idea for ‘MeliesArt’ and a little about your journey into 3D modeling/ 3D printing?
I’m happy to talk with you about MeliesArt today, thanks for the opportunity. My background is in engineering and economics, and I have given lots of speeches and presentations on these two topics. Actually I still do. Presentations, visualizations and consultations I’ve done them all, but in my time doing that I realized how low the retention rate is. Most of the statistical data that we read on a weekly basis doesn’t really stick with us, we usually forget more than half of it. So about 3 years ago I decided to use 3D Printing to make digital data tangible, so that it can accompany PowerPoint slides or any other presentations.
I used 3D modelling software as an engineer so I was very familiar with it when I decided to create these artistic data displays. The timing couldn’t have been better 3D printing, it was exactly the technology that I needed to make these prints possible, and because of my familiarity with the software the learning curve wasn’t a problem. Although there are other challenges involved with modelling.
Digital is easy to forget, but analog is made to remember…
Do you mind sharing some of the challenges you experience modelling your prints?
No I don’t mind at all; one of the biggest challenges for me is that most 3D modelling software was originally created for movies and rendering. In order to get the desired outcome with my models I need to toggle between many different software systems. There are some essential assets on the Sculpteo site that have made the process a bit easier, particularly the solidity check tool, and the 3D printing dossier.
Thanks for sharing! I’d like to wrap up by asking for final thoughts about where you see 3D printing going in the future, and also any final thoughts you’d like to share about ‘MeliesArt’.
New materials and quicker printing on in the near future for 3D printing. I’ve been looking forward to applying more surface texture to my artistic data displays, I’m able now to apply font, colors and height but texture would help for the visually impaired. Some really great things are taking place regarding haptic surfaces, and I’m exploring those options. Regarding final thoughts for ‘MeliesArt’ I’d just like to share with your readers that these data prints are teaching tools and art pieces; but at the core, these prints are a way to slow down the quick pace that we receive data. By making data tangible and literally touch-able it makes a bigger impression on you.
If you’d like to take a look at our previous article featuring ‘MeliesArt’ it’s just a click away.