3D Printing at Eagle Lab

One of the sculptural ideas for the project is to create a capacitive touch sensing sculpture using copper pipes. The idea is to have a network of pipes which when touched at different points could activate digital effects or bring in and out oscillators to change the timbre of the sound being played. To create these distinct areas, it was important that the pipes had a break in the conductivity connection to isolate the patching points.

Visiting the plumbing shops I wanted to looking for a variety of non conductive pipe connectors such as elbows, T-junctions and stop ends. The connectors I found were functional but aesthetically unpleasing being large and white.

I decided to 3D print some bespoke pipe connectors that I could use within the sculpture to break the circuit connection and patch to different Arduino pins. I worked with James Medd at Eagle Labs at BBC Media City, Salford to design these oversized neon pink pipe connectors. Each connecting piece took around 3-4 hours to print. It’s cool to use another material (PLA) to design an create a part that previously didn’t exist for a very specific function. James has the fantastic idea to make the indiviidual parts modular so we could mix and match. We made a universal connector which fits on all parts and attaches via a screw-thread, this means essentially the sculptural interface could be configured differently for each performance – modular music interfaces!! I’ve now started to practice with the pipe system (see video at the bottom) , at the moment this a table top set up so I need to find a way to secure it as an upright 3D network. Thanks Eagle Lab

Here I am rehearsing with the pipes and Ableton Live ahead of the first performance

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