Many types of business data can be condensed into a single 3D printed data model that contains a multitude of data rather than having that same information on numerous slides, leading to a more memorable experience for the attendees. Audiences are more receptive to what’s being presented when they can see it up close.
All areas of your business can benefit from models that include data like sales revenues/losses, growth, product sales and product comparisons. Here’s an engaging model for 2016 Fast Food Sales that measures the data in hamburgers, cups of coffee, donuts, and chicken legs.
Another example is printing a 3D tangible data height map that can help make certain decisions easier for consumers. Some questions it may facilitate and answer: Is your area beneficial for pursuing solar? How much can you save? How long until it pays for itself? How much does it cost to install by state? What tax credits are involved by state?
All of these pieces of information can be included in a single 3D data model allowing you to quickly dissect the data visually as opposed to relying strictly on researching the words and numbers in a report. This also enables you get immediate feedback from your target audience.
Museums and Expos
Museums and expos are using interactive sculptures like these data visualization models as fun and informative ways to display data. Timelines like this one are displayed when museums host exhibits on a particular theme. There are also tablets and computers with touchscreens available so visitors can interact and learn more about the subject.
The emoto project (pictured below) captured and analyzed tweets in real time during the London 2012 Olympics and then created an interactive model that enabled users to see the tweets of the most interesting themes and who tweeted them at what time of the day.
Statistics like graduates in a school district over the last decade or since the turn of the century. High school dropouts by district, state and country, test results comparisons, enrollment increase/decrease in any given time period, etc. can all be presented as a physical model along with interactive technology to increase awareness to issues facing education today.
Manipulatives, which are toys and tools used to teach math, can be 3D printed to enhance the learning environment. Many kids learn best if they play with blocks and tools they can touch. Customized manipulatives are generally cheaper to 3D print, so more kids can make use of them in the classroom.
Classrooms are starting to implement 3D-printed models they can print themselves or externally printed 3D models in their lesson plans. The above image is a 3D-printed manipulative used to illustrate mathematic equations that can be operated by the student.
Data models can also be applied by analyzing manufacturing and consumer data on how products are used, possible break points or areas of high stress, possible grip points and its impact on the structure itself through frequent usage. Parts and Prototype manufacturing such as structural integrity and damage prevention/reduction.
Taking data on how the consumer will or has used similar products in the past can visually show the designers where they might need to focus their attention more before they even start designing. This will save both time and money, allowing manufacturers to build products that are stronger, more durable with higher efficiency.
We each have fond memories of those we love, our accomplishments and major life events. Having a physical representation of that time is another way to use data visualization. We can also pay tribute to others like the brave people who survived, lost their lives, rescued others and all of us who were affected by the events at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
3D-printed data of man-made and natural disasters enables research and understanding to help prevent or reduce these tragic events in the future.
This data visualization model of the 2014 San Francisco Earthquake was created by Doug McCune to see how it compared to earthquakes that hit San Francisco in 1906 and 1989. The US Geological Survey built models for the earlier earthquakes and he was able to get them all together for the side-by-side comparison.
On March 11, 2011, a 9.1 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake hit Tōhoku Japan and the tsunami that followed was more than 131 feet tall. The quake struck offshore and had worldwide effects. Covering 11,000 miles, the tsunami waves traveled across the pacific to Alaska, Hawaii and Chile. They were nearly 7 feet high when they reached the shore in Chile and they tore a huge chunk of ice off of Antarctica.
The 3D data sculpture below was created by Luke Jerram to explore how data is read, represented and interpreted. It measures 11 13/16 in x 7 7/8 in and represents the 9-minute duration of the quake. It’s amazing how a stunning piece of art can be created from an event so terrifying.
Scientists in all fields use 3D printed data for training, assessing patterns, presentations and more. Meteorologists use physical three-dimensional models to show a plethora of data including tornado paths yearly, by decade and areas affected the most, rainfall by county, state, country and globally. NASA also uses topography models for educational purposes and to help scientists better understand the Earth and its solar system.
The data that can be 3D printed is endless but here are a few more possibilities: carbon emissions in big cities, the effects of weather on crops by region, molecules, atoms, land and water, pollution, population and census data, cityscapes, noise simulation, and sound waves.
Tractography models are used for studying the brain and for preoperative planning for brain tumors and vascular malformations. The models visually represent the electrical impulses around the brain. The data used to create these physical models is collected by combining magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT-Scans.
City Planning also benefits from 3D-printed data visualization. Using housing DATA with geospatial overlays, physical models assist builders and city planners on how to best implement emergency plans and strategies to deal with natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes (structure stability), mudslides.
Urban planning also benefits from data visualization and can include the effects of proposed construction on historical sites, impact of growth on rural communities, environmental planning like the shoreline changes due to global warming and the affect high-rise buildings have in downtown areas such as humidity, sunlight, temperature and wind tunnels. These models are useful for comparisons of past urban space, as it exists today and what it might look like in the future after new construction or developments are made.
Department of Defense could use this technology to assess 3d printed statistical information on terrorist cells’ location, population density, and movement for a given period of time. To better predict future movement, growth rate, and threat level.
Some people refer to this technology as 3D printed data sculpture. Artists and sports enthusiasts take data from sporting events like the Super Bowl to create dynamic pieces of 3D art. The images below represent the passing stats of Super Bowl I in 1967 to Super Bowl 50 in 2016.
Below, the 3D-printed charts show shots made by NBA players. Each cell represents one square foot on the court. Collectively they show shot distribution for each player. Placing the data side-by-side you can compare each player’s strengths and where they’re lacking.
These data models can be 3D printed in a variety of materials such as sandstone or metal. Other sculptures created with 3D printed data, including furniture like this illuminated New York City landscape tabletop, add to the ambiance of a room.