Whatever your personal opinion about spiders, they cannot deny that they are great silk spinners. Their craft has honored by species throughout the forest to act as palanquins for lifting large nets and anchors for throwing nets, as well as nets and slings for catching passing prey.
Some have neurotoxins, while scientists gave some graphene, and the artists responsible for these silk palaces have even been able to create them in space. Although their structure is remarkable, recent projects have decided to take a completely different approach to spiders – treating them as words. This may sound like a loophole, but those in the project argue that looking at the web in this way can inform advanced 3D printers and even unlock the medium of cross-species communication.
The project scanned a natural spider web to get a 2D snapshot of its development size, which then sewn together using computer algorithms to represent the 3D structure of the web. Each silk strain assigned a different frequency of sound, which converted the web map into sheet music for a harp-like instrument originally created for the project.
It remains to seen whether the resulting tunes will be nominated for an award, but some (jump without acknowledging) find the tunes quite comfortable. The webs did not have to be a hit-surprise, as the team also scanned while creating a web. By capturing the construction process in real-time, they were able to determine a word at each construction stage that evolved like the web. It again placed on the team’s unusual materials resulting in a trippy track that refers to the silken-spinning process of the arachnids.
Said the project’s principal investigator Dr Markus Buehler in a statement, who presented the work at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, “Our harp-like device changes during the process to reflect how the spider builds the web on the web.”
“So, we can discover the temporary sequence of how the web is being created in audio format.” It is this systematic information that expected to inspire 3D “spider-mimicking” technologies that could one day create fun and complex electronics made together like a spider’s web. “The spider’s way of‘printing ’the web is significant because no support material is used, as is often the case with 3D printing methods,” Buehler said.