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Artist Turns Obama’s State Of The Union Address Into A 3D-Printed Sculpture

We often talk about how a speech is beautiful, or how speech rolls off the tongue or is stilted or too fast or too slow, but what does all that actually look like? You may have seen 2D visualizations of speech, but what about 3D? And have you ever seen a speech visualized?

French digital artist Gilles Azzaro has created a captivating way for you to realize this possibility. Azzaro’s piece, titled Barack Obama: Next Industrial Revolution, features a 3D-printed visualization of Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union Address, turning peaks in soundwaves into shining plastic. In this particular speech, Obama discusses the revolutionary effect 3D printing could potentially have on US manufacturing. Some have even claimed the format could yield a third Industrial Revolution.

Unveiled last week at the 3D Print Show in London, the installation adds another dimension to this 39 second long audio clip, creating a speech that engages its audience on multiple levels.

Even without witnessing Next Industrial Revolution in full effect, the structure itself is impressive. Featuring an over five foot long 3D printed waveform, the dark metallic piece attracts attention, regardless of the audio component. The form took about 350 hours over an eight-month period to finish, and was printed entirely on Azzaro’s desktop 3D printer. The sound wave is interestingly (and beautifully) placed on a wooden platform and encased within a glass tube, designed by Patrick Sarran.

See more images at The Creators Project.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.