Touching the Stars: Using High-resolution 3D Printing to Visualize Stellar Nurseries

  title={Touching the Stars: Using High-resolution 3D Printing to Visualize Stellar Nurseries},
  author={Nia Imara and John C. Forbes and James C. Weaver},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal Letters},
Owing to their intricate variable density architecture, and as a principal site of star formation, molecular clouds represent one of the most functionally significant, yet least understood features of our universe. To unravel the intrinsic structural complexity of molecular clouds, here we leverage the power of high-resolution bitmap-based three-dimensional (3D) printing, which provides the opportunity to visualize astrophysical structures in a way that uniquely taps into the human brain's… 

Towards a Deeper Understanding of Data and Materiality

  • S. Bae
  • Computer Science
    Creativity & Cognition
  • 2022
Three areas where data physicalization can aid other research thrusts are addressed: broadening participation, supporting analytics, and promoting creative expression are addressed.



3D printing meets computational astrophysics: deciphering the structure of η Carinae's inner colliding winds

We present the first 3D prints of output from a supercomputer simulation of a complex astrophysical system, the colliding stellar winds in the massive (>120 M_Sun), highly eccentric (e ~ 0.9) binary

The Fabric of the Universe: Exploring the Cosmic Web in 3D Prints and Woven Textiles

A pipeline for translating three-dimensional density structures from N-body simulations into solid surfaces suitable for 3D printing is described, and prints of a cosmological volume and of the infall region around a massive cluster halo are presented.

Making data matter: Voxel printing for the digital fabrication of data across scales and domains

This work presents a multimaterial voxel-printing method that enables the physical visualization of data sets commonly associated with scientific imaging, and demonstrates that data sets frequently visualized on screen can be converted into physical, materially heterogeneous objects.

Data-Driven Material Modeling with Functional Advection for 3D Printing of Materially Heterogeneous Objects

A bitmap-slicing framework designed to inform material property distribution in concert with slice generation is demonstrated and the ability to integrate multiple geometry-based data sources to achieve high levels of control for applications in a wide variety of design scenarios is emphasized.

Cosmic sculpture: a new way to visualise the cosmic microwave background

3D printing presents an attractive alternative to visual representation of physical datasets such as astronomical images that can be used for research, outreach or teaching purposes, and is

Houdini for Astrophysical Visualization

This paper discusses some newly developed tools to import and manipulate astrophysical data into the three dimensional visual effects software, Houdini, which is widely used by visual effects artists, but a recently implemented Python API now allows astronomers to more easily use it as a visualization tool.

Reconstructing three-dimensional densities from two-dimensional observations of molecular gas

Star formation has long been known to be an inefficient process, in the sense that only a small fraction $\epsilon_{\rm ff}$ of the mass of any given gas cloud is converted to stars per cloud


Yt, an open source, community-developed astrophysical analysis and visualization toolkit, is presented and its methods for reading, handling, and visualizing data, including projections, multivariate volume rendering, multi-dimensional histograms, halo finding, light cone generation, and topologically connected isocontour identification are reported.

Clouds, filaments, and protostars: TheHerschel Hi-GAL Milky Way

We present the first results from the science demonstration phase for the Hi-GAL survey, the Herschel key program that will map the inner Galactic plane of the Milky Way in 5 bands. We outline our