3D Printing

Augmented Reality & 3D Printing Bring Sight & Touch to Sound

What’s your totem? A group of engineers and designers at REIFY have created 3D printed “sound sculptures” encoded with music and visuals that play on mobile devices. On their Kickstarter, REIFY calls these totems “cross-sensory experiences,” and says that the idea for this project began as a merging of technology and art with NEW INC residents at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

3D printed sound sculpture with AR from reify

The project was developed by CEO and founder of REIFY, Allison Wood, technology lead Kei Gowda, UX/UI designer Christine Walthall, and coder David Lobser. What makes the totems special is not just that the soundwaves of songs are translated into PLA 3D printed sculptures, but the “augmented reality “smartphone app that makes the static sculptures come alive with movement and sound. The app reads the architecture of the totem’s shape and then translates form into audible sound waves.


Each totem includes hardware and coding that can be played back on a tablet or smart phone via their Stylus mobile app. REIFY says that each totem represents the song of the individual artist that created them. Musicians HEALTH, Mae, YACHT and Tim Fain have all created totems for the Kickstarter launch and are also helping out with the backer rewards.  As cool as this project is, they may need a lot of help pulling in their whopping $150,000 goal.

3D printed sound sculpture AR from reify

Wood says of the project, “we’ve designed hundreds of experimental totems for many different kinds of music. Through many beautiful trials and educational errors we’ve established an audio-to-physical design process where each totem can look and feel as unique as the song it represents…while remaining structurally sound.” She continues, “We’ve prototyped our totem fabrication processes to find a balance between creative flexibility and lasting, physical objects. “

Hopefully this project will make it through the Kickstarter gauntlet and the world will have one more interesting, but useless personalized 3D printed gift to give bougie dads next Father’s Day.