HojoWorks Turns a 3D Printer Into a Display, of Sorts, for an Unusual Rendition of Bad Apple!!

Hudson Valley-based 3D printing specialist HojoWorks has turned one of its printers to an unusual task: “displaying” the classic black and white “Bad Apple!!” animation in the form of a 252-hour-long 3D print job.

“Bad Apple!!” started life as part of the soundtrack to bullet-hell shooter Lotus Land Story, the fourth in the Touhou Project series from Team Shanghai Alice. Originally an instrumental track, it was given lyrics when covered by Alstroemeria Records — after which it was paired with an iconic shadow-art animation. That animation, which lends itself to being rendered in a one-bit color depth, has become something of a game among embedded engineering types who want to port it to ever-simpler hardware — recently culminating in a version which runs on from an EEPROM with no attached CPU.

252 hours in the making, this is possibly the most power-intensive version of Bad Apple!! you’ll ever see. (📹: HojoWorks)

HojoWorks’ take on the challenge, though, is different. There’s no real “display” involved at all, for starters. Instead, each frame of the animation — fewer than the original, for reasons of practicality — is printed as a single layer on a Bambu Lab X1C two-color 3D printer, loaded with black and white PLA filament.

Recorded frame by frame using a Nikon D780 digital camera and then assembled into an animation set to the Alstroemeria cover, the result is recognizably Bad Apple!! — even allowing for difficulties with handling some of the smaller objects in the animation. The speed, though, can’t be measured in frames-per-second: recording the whole video took around 252 hours of printing, the company reveals, and consumed an impressive 8kg (around 1.6lbs) of filament.

The full video is available on the HojoWorks YouTube channel.

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