PrinterPack: Wearable Technology that 3D Prints Users’ Virtual Activity

By: Grace Juster '16

Advising Faculty: Nadav Assor

In this project, Grace worked with 3D printers in order to bring the virtual world into the physical world. “Printerpack” is a way to realize our dual existence by reminding us that we are present not only through our body, but also through the data we consume and emit. “Printerpack” was a wearable 3D printer that prints while a user is on their cell phone; the user would leave a trail of shapes behind them as they move. This project enforces the idea that humans exist both in the physical world and as consumers and producers of data. By connecting the printer to personal devices and tracking usage, duration in the virtual world leads to accumulation of printed material in the physical world. By removing the build platform, the user leaves a trail of small shapes wherever they go -- physical artifacts of virtual exertion. “Printerpack” is a product that takes a satirical look on our need to be constantly connected to our virtual lives by making that need have a physical consequence. Expanding their physical reach makes the user reckon with the effects of their actions. “Printerpack” playfully reveals the serious reality of data consumption and virtual identity. Grace’s project was part of the Art Department Seniors Major’s Art Exhibition.

Internship: Makerbot, Brooklyn, New York

Related Fields: Art, Ammerman Center, Computer Science