3D Printed Music

Ever wonder what it would be like to see music?

Recently, Allison Wood and Kei Gowda began a startup called Reify which focuses around not only hearing music, but seeing it.

Reify turns sound waves into 3-D printed sculptures that play the sound back with an augmented reality app. Wood models her startup on the neurological phenomenon Synesthesia.

Synesthesia occurs when the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway produces automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In the case of music, synesthetes generally tend to see colors and form. Many famous musicians have been said to have Synesthesia; most recently, it’s been Kanye West…


With Reify, Wood and Gowda aim to allow non-synesthetes the ability to experience music visually—digital synesthesia.

Reify designs a totem—a 3D printed object that represents the song—using Echo Nest API to analyze its rhythm, structure, amplification, harmony, etc. All of this data correlates to physical attributes such as weight, height, and mass. The form of the totem is finalized once the artist evaluates it, and decides whether it is a worthy representation of their work.


To hear the 3D printed musical sculpture, one must use the Reify augmented reality app. When the totem is in front of the camera, the app reads its form and will play the song to you on your phone, and begins to animate your screen—replicating the actual experience of Synesthesia.

As of now, Reify is still in its early stages as a startup, but hopefully we will see more of them in the near future!

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