Since 3D printers have become rather accessible, it was only a matter of time before someone started printing 3D vinyl discs. Read on to see whether this newly born medium has a future.
I grew up listening to music on vinyl discs. My eldest cousin brought me when I was 6 or 7 y/o LPs of Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound of Thunder, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and the eponymous albums of Black Sabbath and Esquire. Even though I don’t own a functional turntable anymore, such a device is on my to-buy list, knowing how good the quality on the analog mediums really is. That being said, let’s take a look at the latest innovations in this field: 3D printed records made by an enthusiast and not a company, as most people would think.
Amanda Ghassaei, the creator of the 3D printed LPs, does not only have a terrific taste in music (with very small exceptions), but also an unquenchable thirst for innovation. As the assistant technology editor at instructables.com, she developed a passion for projects involving audio, LEDs and Arduino micro-controllers.
The best part about these 33-rpm 3D printed records is that they can be played on typical turntables, with common needles and at normal speeds. The Audio Technica turntable from the first image and from the following video is the proof of that.
As a member of the Instructables staff, Amanda Ghassaei had access to an Autodesk Objet Connex500 UV-cured resin 3D printer just like the one pictured above. The final product is not very impressive in terms of audio quality, but it is something that has not been done before, so I’m willing to turn a blind eye on that. Another downside is that Amanda turned digital audio files into 3D printed vinyls. A conversion from analog to analog would have been more accurate, in my humble opinion.
The project is overloaded with technical details, so all the ones who want to know every single detail about how the 3D printed vinyl discs were born should head to the Instructables page of the project.
The complete record models are available on Autodesk’s 123D gallery and on The Pirate Bay. Seeing the latter, I wonder how long will it take till the music industry labels this as a new form of piracy.