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Marble-lous!

BCN3D Creates 3D Printed Marble Machine For Sonar Music Festival

Picture of Tyler Koslow
by Tyler Koslow
Jun 21, 2017

Domestic Data Streamers and Spotify collaborate with BCN3D to create The Timekeeper 3D printed marble machine for Sónar Music Festival. 

Last week, the city of Barcelona hosted Sónar 2017, a popular electronic music festival that featured Bjork, Justice, and others. While 123,000 visitors gathered together to dance the night away, a machine called the Timekeeper was doing some gathering of its own.

The design and communications firm Domestic Data Streamers and music streaming service Spotify collaborated to create this complex device. The Timekeeper is a machine that curates songs for users depending on their music preferences. This selected music is then symbolically stored as a marble and sent to the listener on a certain date. It effectively works with 1500 marbles, allowing 200 to move throughout the complex structure at a time.

Acting as both a marvelous contraption and insightful data collector, the Timekeeper is a groundbreaking machine. In order to produce this so-called marble machine, Spotify and Domestic Data Streamers worked with BCN3D Technologies.

BCN3D Helps Print Functional Prototype of The Timekeeper

For the Spanish 3D printing manufacturer, this unique machine was the perfect case study to showcase the capabilities of the BCN3D Sigma for functional prototyping. The Timekeeper includes mechanisms like gears and automated doors, along with parts of metal, plastic, and of course, marbles.

However, there are also more than 150 3D printed parts that make up the device. 3D printing technology allowed the team to iterate the design easily without the need to invest in tooling.  All of the printed parts were created using the BCN3D Sigma, a quality dual extrusion desktop 3D printer.

The entire project required more than 30 kg of PLA, ColorFabb XT, and flexible materials. Some components were so large and complex that they took 30 to 40 hours to print. There are also a few multi-material parts, combining rigid and flexible materials to help carefully fit the parts into the glass structure.

More than 10 BCN3D Sigma 3D printers were used to create the Timekeeper. Domestic Data Streamers has four of their own Sigma printers stationed in their Barcelona facility, while BCN3D Technologies helped create other parts. All in all, over 6000 hours of printing time went into the creation of the 3D printed marble machine.

Aside from having a magnificent aesthetic, the Timekeeper also found some insightful data about the music habits of Sónar festivalgoers. The data shows that although 87% of participants look for new experiences in life, 59% are conservative in the way they listen to music. This machine aims to open up a new world of sound for these Spotify users, and 3D printing technology is ensuring that the marbles keep rolling along. 

Source: BCN3D Technologies

License: The text of "BCN3D Creates 3D Printed Marble Machine For Sonar Music Festival" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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