Inspired by wasps’ and hornets’ nests, the basic idea for the work titled Silent Orchestra was developed by Peter Lang in collaboration with acoustics experts from Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences. The 3D printed sculpture is made of a multitude of nature-inspired tubes arranged in a honeycomb pattern and will be installed as a large-format sound element hanging from the ceiling in the meeting room of the client where it will also serve to improve the acoustics.
Underlining the esthetic contrast between tradition and innovation, Peter Lang combined classic analog and contemporary digital processes in a novel way to create a unique art object. More than 10 months of preparation were required before the production of the artwork could begin. To do this, the artist broke down the analog model into 43 layers and drew the object outline of each layer by hand on 3×6 meter fleece sheets.
The sheets were hung and photographed, these individual images were then processed on the computer to create a three-dimensional digital data model as the basis for 3D printing the art object by using Robotic FDM. This means a robot arm is equipped with an extrusion nozzle to apply the material layer by layer under computer control. To achieve homogeneous and perfectly parallel layers over the entire height of the object, the development engineers at additive tectonics programmed a complex algorithm that enables the extrusion nozzle to traverse the entire object without ever crossing its own path which would create an unwanted overlap.
For a sustainable, nearly CO2-neutral manufacturing process, the material used was Arboblend, a biocompatible plastic that Peter Lang infused with beer as a natural adhesive and with hand-selected high-quality pigments from Pigment Kremer. By manually mixing the different colored granules during the extrusion process, the artist achieved individual color effects, leading to the desired uniqueness of the work’s appearance. The process-related rough and fibrous surface, in combination with the bionic geometry of the art object, provides the intended, sound-optimizing effect.
Within two months, the bionically shaped sound absorber was created as a unique analog-digital-analog work of art, combining old artistic craftsmanship and innovative digital manufacturing technology in an entirely original way.