Category : BEYOND
By Shih Wei Chieh（Taiwan）
"Laser dye" is an optical method that allows "printing" fabric at home, by hacking the conventional laser projector and turning it into a dyeing printer, so that users are able to laser print single color graphic on fabric or objects in all sizes.
The interesting part of this project is that it's a dyeing method in-between hand-dyed and digital print, it allows digital fabrication to help dyeing process but without completely losing the interesting handmade effect, like a hybrid third kind result. The convenient printing process opens the gate and make people more accessible to dyeing. It also provides a possibility to integrate patterning, printing, dyeing into one process for fashion designers.
This dyeing method is inspired by one of the oldest alternative photography process: cyanotype, it is a photochromic way to dye fabric and objects with 3-dimensional figure, and technically it provides more possibilities for creative pattern design, fashion, performance art, since the print content can be modified real time and the laser dye can produce low cost massive size prints, all at home.
I control the laser movement by audio signals instead of serial communication, hence there's a strong relation between sound and visual, the laser movement is completely bond/synced with the audio, this allows me to generate visual patterns based on sound or read the pattern back into sound.
This takes a regular laser projector and turns it into a color-dyeing printer. It strays from regular printing methods that use sideways movements, and prints images like blue prints at a low cost and regardless of size. It is also capable of printing on multiple dimensions and differing textures. Depending on the method used to project images, it can cater flexibly to any space and is a lovely hybrid blend between hand-dying and digital printing. In addition to applications in fashion and art, it can also be used in live performances to accompany movement or changes in images and music. It lacks impact however, as the prints are limited to blue only.