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3D Printed Sculpture Showcases the Detrimental Nature of San Francisco’s Rising Housing Prices

by • August 18, 2016 • No Comments

sculpture-sfWhilst the Bay Area’s continuously expanding tech bubble has led to a plethora of innovations for both San Francisco and the rest of the world, this boom has in addition caused a primary upswing in the price of surrounding real estate, which has attributed to longtime local residents being driven out of their neighborhoods. In order to physically manifest the detrimental effect which this has had on the city as a whole, one programmer and data artist, named Doug McCune, has used 3D printing innovation to turn it into a data-based sculpture depicting San Francisco’s housing crisis.

The sculpture portrays a one-of-a-kind map of San Francisco, where the height of every area is dependent on the average price per square foot, according to data of new home sales. Some of the neighborhoods reimagined in the 3D printed artwork were close in value, and therefore were connected with one another. But, for neighborhoods which were distant in terms of real estate worth, McCune allowed the sculpture to split apart, featuring the areas of the city which were many affected by economic divide.

animated_sculptureThe dataset used by McCune, which can be sourced of Redfin, exhibits 5,000 of the many new home sales in San Francisco, every one color coded on a map by the price per square foot. McCune and so binned this data into hexagons, which worked to show the differences in price in every neighborhood by color and number. This hexagonal map was and so transformed into a 3D edition through a slightly varied edition of the “shp2stl” code, which was turn it intod and posted by McCune on his Github page.

After defining the threshold for how closely together these regions needed to connect with one another, McCune allowed any neighboring regions which exceeded the pre-defined delta to split away of every other, making an organic spiral pattern through the map. When it came time to create the socially focused sculpture, the data artist used a Type A Machines Series 1 3D printing device. The sculpture measures out to of 12 inches high, and took a total of 36 hours to 3D print. Due to the spiraling and unactually nature of the sculpture, McCune had to use a hefty amount of assist structures during the printing system. But, once these assists were removed, McCune and so had to find a way to store the 3D printed sculpture of falling over, and so he used the mesh of the bottom of the sculpture edition to form the top of the base, which allowed the sculpture to fit snugly right onto the stand.


McCune has created the raw data, the 3D edition of the sculpture, and the 3D edition of the stand all on the market to download via GitHub. The programmer and data artist encourages others to print their own edition, or actually remix the edition into their own social statement and piece of art. According to McCune, if you stand far adequate directly above the sculpture, it starts to take the form of San Francisco’s actual map. But, when you appear at the 3D printed artwork closely, you can’t assist but see the detrimental effect which the rising real estate value have caused across the Bay Area. And, although we’ve seen 3D printed editions of San Francisco in the past, none of them speak out as loudly as this one. Discuss additional over in the 3D Printed San Francisco forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Doug McCune]