Tuesday, August 13, 2013

3d printed resin record

Recently in 3d printing technology a playable record was printed from the material resin with a Objet Connex 500.  Amanda Ghassaei documents her process in a video that I have linked below.  Most of us who have designed utilizing CAD are aware that you fabricate models by creating meshes that are made up of tiny little triangles.  Ghassaei explains, because of how complex it would be to traditionally draft an audio file, she had to create a program to do the conversion for her.  This conversion broke down the numbers that created the raw audio data into the form of a readable wave form or groove on the resin disc.  The wave length transcribed in the disc is read by the turntable stylus which travels along the path (groove) to re-create the path in an audio form that we can hear.

The quality of the recording is admittedly not great, but this does arise the question, how do different printed materials sound? The original vinyl record came into popularity since it had a much better sound quality than the original shellac records.    Over the last century we have moved from different ways to produce sound from the phonograph cylinder, to the shellac record, to the vinyl record, to the laser read compact disc, now we rely heavily on the mp3.

However, people are nostalgic.  What has come into fashion is using our current technology in the guise of its predecessor.  Such as the iphone with its retro hand telephone attachment. Or the large 1980's boombox that attaches to your mp3 player so you get that retro look with a clean modern sound.  We find it cool and hip to have the style of the yesteryear with the convenience of modern technology.  I would not find it surprising if this program is used in different materials to play with sound.  To use modern 3d printing technology to re-create something our parents used.  I would love to hear how different materials sounded and see what kind of music could be created with this program.  I really hope innovative companies like Shapeways eat this up and experiment to see how far we can go.


 http://www.amandaghassaei.com/3D_printed_record.html - Amanda Ghassaei's website with video and images