Shape It 3D

This post is also available in: Italiano

Some 3D Stories happen almost by chance, when an unconventional approach and multidisciplinary skills meet together, generating solutions for objectives that would otherwise be unlikely or even unimaginable. As in the case of Shape It, an idea the popped up during a Generative Art Hackathon. A bracelet with the shape of your favourite music: from audible to wearable… and even a bit social. Let’s find out why.

SHAPE IT - dal suono alla stampa 3D
The mission of Shape It: from audible to wearable (credit: Protocube Reply)
Be shaped, be social!

Music is a sensory phenomenon that can affect people’s emotions differently, even when they listen to the same song. So why not translating these emotional vibrations into something physical? Like a jewel you wear, the tangible expression of what music means for each of us. From this idea Shape It was born, a project to wear music, forged precisely by the sound characteristics that identify a particular melody. Thanks to the shape of the bracelets they wear, the “shapers” will be able to recognise each other’s musical preference at first sight, as well as establishing relationships and sharing experiences.

From sound to form. A 3D-oriented generative design.

Shape It is based on a very simple workflow: the audio track chosen by the shaper is analysed with libROSA, a library developed in Python capable of extracting various types of information, such as the “Chroma”: a graphical representation of the intensity of each of the 12 notes at a specific time. It is a MIR (Music Information Retrieval) tool, whose action is parallel to that of a neural network that analyses the same track and recognises the musical genre it corresponds to.

The Chroma created by libROSA constitutes the database upon which the 3D software generates the unique shape of the bracelet. (credit: Tencent Thailand)

The data extracted with libROSA (a sound pattern: a univocal information) and the neural network (the musical genre: a generic information) is processed with the 3D software Rhinoceros, which uses the VPL (Visual Programming Language) Grasshopper, whose generative algorithms, duly programmed, define in real-time the 3D form of Shape It.

Rhinoceros and Grasshopper work simultaneously to define every detail of the Shape It design (credit: Protocube Reply)
Shape It – the synthesis of a parametric generative workflow that can create a bracelet and print it in 3D starting from an audio track. (credit: Protocube Reply)
3D print ready!

Shape It can be printed in 3D using a wide variety of materials and finishes, allowing you to also customise the appearance of your bracelet, besides choosing your musical inspiration. Visual impact also counts.

Shape IT – generative shapes derived from classical music and electronic music, created through the use of a neural network (credit: Protocube Reply)
Shape IT – generative shapes derived from metal and pop music. The three-dimensional models can be 3D printed with a wide range of technologies, to obtain bracelets with different materials and surface finishes (credit: Protocube Reply)

Shape It is a project developed by Alice Carpignano, Enrico Casetta, Giulia Giordano, Luca Martini and Dan Miles during Reply’s Generative Art Hackathon 2019

This post is also available in: Italiano

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Francesco La Trofa

Architect and journalist with 20 years’ experience in 3D technologies.
Consultant to public entities and 3D businesses for aspects relating to design and communications.
Head of editorial content at and co-founder of Digital Drawing Days, the only event of its kind in Italy.
Actively involved in research and teaching at Milan Polytechnic.
Edits 3D STORIES for Protocube Reply.