A Company Wants to Monitor the Earth With 3D-Printed Sensor Tiles

Data can be boring and confusing, but not when it's visualized right. That's why a company called FABMOB is gathering atmospheric information and turning it into real-life 3D printed objects.

Here's how the process works: A FABMOB machine is monitors the Earth, tracking time, location, ambient light, temperature, noise level, humidity, and carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels. This data from a small segment of time is then run through the machine, and turned into one physical object, called an ATMOStag. While this little square may look like a botched bathroom floor tile, it actually represents all that atmospheric information rolled into one piece. Here's what the tiles look like:


Each tile has its very own URL hosted by a climate-monitoring organization called Smart Citizen, which is trying to take all this info and make it into a decentralized, searchable database. That URL will have each tile's unique file on-hand. It looks something like this:

There is an art component to the whole thing. Apparently, once you've printed your tile, you're supposed to mount it in its location, like this:


You can make your own ATMOStag, too. If you're interested, you can get more information here. Regardless of the art part of things, and regardless of whether or not you participate, it's really interesting to see 3D printing being used in this way. Maybe some day, it will help us make sense of the wacky winter weather we've had this year. [Creators Project]

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