3D printing is an amazing concept as we have seen it used in all sorts of things, like printing your own gadgets, printing prosthetic limbs, and once we’ve even seen 3D printing used to print an entire motorcycle! However 3D printing can be more than just a practical tool as demonstrated by Swiss design studio Drzach & Suchy.

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It seems that they were inspired by water striders which are hard to spot on the surface of the water, with their position usually given away by the shadow that they cast below the water’s surface. This led them to come up with the idea of 3D printing haiku that can only be seen when placed in water.

Speaking to Fast Company, “We wanted to mimic water striders and achieve a similar deformation of the water surface, yet in a controlled way, to be able to ‘paint’ on the water. The goal was to create a structure, a kind of net or grid with varying heights, which could float on water surface and deform it at predetermined spots: the dominant parts of the net should be touching the surface causing the shadow spots, while the others should be hanging above the surface, letting the light go through.”

The studio also went through various materials before settling on one that they 3D printed, and the end result is what you can see in the video above where haikus can be read below the water’s surface thanks to the shadows that are casted. Pretty cool idea, huh?

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