3D printing a Cloud

Overview

What if we combined the technology behind 3D printers and fog machines to create a 3D printer that could print clouds? I designed this concept for a major financial client as a way to visualize the idea of bringing people's dreams closer to reality.

Components

  1. modified 3d printer
  2. modified fog machine
  3. modified refrigerator

Modified 3D printer

In essence, a 3D printer is a nozzle that traces a 3D file layer by layer, bottom to top, emitting some sort of material. Materials commonly used are plastic, rubber, clay, powdered steel, etc. When the nozzle has finished tracing the 3D file, the 3D print is ready.

I want to build a modified 3D printer that emits fog.

Modified Fog Machine

A fog machine is a device that emits a dense vapor that appears similar to fog or smoke. Typically, fog is created by vaporizing water and glycol-based or glycerin-based fluids or through the atomization of mineral oil. This fluid vaporizes or atomizes inside the fog machine. Upon exiting the fog machine and mixing with cooler outside air the vapor condenses, resulting in a thick visible fog.

I want to dispense fog, ever so gently, through the nozzle of a 3D printer so that it will hold its shape inside a modified refrigerator.

Modified Refrigerator

Fog forms when the difference between air temperature and dew point is generally less than 4 °F. We want to create a glass display container made of glass, inside which we create the perfect environmental conditions to suspend a cloud. I'll install the 3D printer inside the container where it will print out 3D clouds. 

Possible user interactions

- A touch screen kiosk at the site of the display where users can line up and choose from a predetermined set of dreams. Once the user chooses, we print the cloud and attribute it to the user’s dream on a nearby display. This can be shared on social media.
- A call to action on social media, asking people submit their dream purchase. We pick the ones we like and build a collection of 3D images that depict the user’s dream purchase. At the site of the display, we print the images in rotation, attributing the dream to the user.
- Users stand in line to be 3D scanned, and we print them out in cloud form.