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3D Printed Album Art from Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures”

| MakerBot, Model Making | May 27, 2013

3D Printed Joy Division Unknown Pleasures

A 3D printed soundwave from the cover of Joy Division's debut album "Unknown Pleasures"

German blogger and 3D printer enthusiast Michael Zoellner has combined art and technology and produced a 3D print of the iconic album art of Joy Divisions first LP, “Unknown Pleasures”. After being inspired by Grant Gee’s 2007 documentary film on the band he decided to base his project on their debut album.

Joy Division was formed in 1976 in the City of Salford, near Manchester, England, as a punk rock band consisting of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion). Over the next couple of years their sound evolved and their style led the post-punk era of the late 70′s.

They released their debut album, “Unknown Pleasures”, in 1976 and despite the band’s growing success Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980 on the eve of the bands first tour of the United States. After this tragedy the band morphed into New Order, one of the UK’s biggest bands of the 80′s.

The album’s artwork was designed by Peter Saville who went on to design posters and album art for other Factory Records’ bands including New Order. The image is based on a representation of radio waves from pulsar CP 1919, from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy. Saville reversed the image from black-on-white to white-on-black and printed it on textured card for the original version of the album.

Joy Division Unknown Pleasures

The album artwork was designed by Peter Saville

Unfortunately Zoellner could not find a single vector graphic or 3D model anywhere.

“There are articles about the history of the graphics, Peter Saville’s artwork and PSR B1919+21. I even tried to visualize PSR B1919+21′s waveforms. But in the end I spend an evening tracing the waves by hand.” Writes Zoellner on his website.

After painstakingly transferring his drawings into a 3D model it was printed on a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer with white PLA filament. He then uploaded the project onto Thingiverse for anyone to download and print.

Michael is not the first to take on an album related 3D printing project, Instructibles researcher Amanda Ghassaei has played around with 3D printing LPs which can be played on a record player.

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