Ahead of International CES this week, where 3D printing is going to feature heavily, New Years Eve patrons of Cirque Du Soleil’s Las Vegas Nightclub “Light” got a rather stunning preview of the capabilities of the technology.  The venue, within the Mandalay Bay Resort, is enjoying a growing reputation as one of Las Vegas’ top hot spots as a result of combining cutting edge technology with Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘out-of-this-world aesthetics’ and world class DJs.

To welcome in 2014, the “Light” nightclub upped the ante once again, featuring the launch of the latest design work of Fashion-Tech Designer Anouk Wipprecht. Regular readers of 3DPI may recognise that name as being the talent behind the Smoke Dress, which we featured back in October last year — it also made it onto my top applications list for 2013. Thus I was personally delighted to hear from Vanessa Palsenberg at Materialise about Anouk’s latest 3D printing developments.

Materialise Cirque de Soleil 3D Printing

As with the Smoke Dress, Anouk collaborated with Niccolo Casas and Materialise on the 3D printed elements of her latest creations to further explore their study on how to combine the body and technology with 3D printing. For this stunning show, the emphasis was clearly on light and the essential wearable electronics and Anouk sought to experiment with a set of technology-equipped, coordinated performance pieces to enhance the Cirque du Soleil experience.

Materialise Cirque de Soleil 3D Printing HelmetAs a result, Anouk integrated techno-teasing and interactivity into her creations to compliment the mindset that Cirque du Soleil stages and on New Year’s Eve, her effect-based designs found their match in the technical marvel that surrounded the nightclub. The 3D printed elements of the design — laser sintered by Materialise — incorporated four independently controlled shoulder pieces with strobe-effect 20W High Power LEDs shining through the shape.

But it wasn’t just about producing light from the fashion pieces, it was about putting on a show and to that end control was required. Anouk and her team — Matt Pinner and Daniel Schatzmayr — developed an independent interface based on custom made PCB boards connected with a network adaptor to a credit-card-sized Linux-based Beagle Bone. This allowed for wireless synchronisation within the animation control system and a simplified rapid deployment process with a minimum power footprint. It also meant that the designs could be controlled within the unpredictable realms of the tunes and beats of the ‘The Light’. If the pictures are anything to go by — and they are pretty amazing — this was once heck of a show.

Materialise Cirque de Soleil 3D Printing

Anouk’s work — including the 3D printed pieces by Materialise — will be highlighted at showtime during CES, where the people behind “Light” will combine out of this world cutting edge technology with the pulsing electronic music of the world’s top DJ’s during a full evening of performances and acrobatics with Cirque du Soleil’s highly skilled team.

Rather gutted I’m missing this one, but one for Mike to check out and enjoy!

Image Credit and Copyright: Liana Bandziulyte

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