3D Printed LPs? Yes, But not for the Audiophile
Kyle.Maxey posted on December 26, 2012 |
3D Printed LPs? Yes, But not for the Audiophile

With the resolution of 3D printers increasing every year, the accuracy and detail of prints are now becoming very fine. In fact, a few printers these days are able to produce objects that have a 16 micron resolution.

That type of resolution led Amanda Ghassaei, assistant editor at Instructables, to see if she could print an LP on a 3D Printer.

Starting with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and other songs by the Pixies, Daft Punk and Radiohead, Ghassaei down sampled each song to 11kHz to try and compensate for the printers resolution. You see, although 3D printers do have a very fine print resolution it can’t compare to the intricate audio grooves on a traditional LP.

Once the samples were properly encoded, Ghassaei used a Python script to create a wireframe model of the audio waves that are carved into the grooves of the record. With a wireframe model in place, she used an open-source program, Processing, to generate an .stl file of the audio wave and then wrapped it around a 12 inch 3D disc model in a spiraled pattern.

So, do Ghassaei’s LP’s deliver high fidelity sound?

No, not really. In all honesty, not at all, but that’s hardly the point. 

Ghassaei’s project is just an experiment, and another example of how ingenuity and 3D printing can combine to create some pretty cool stuff.  According to Ghassaei, “It’s really cool to kind of push the technology and see what you can get out of it… I’ve got a bunch more that I want to do.”

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