A New Zealand designer has created a 3D printed desktop speaker which is printed in one piece using a multi-material printer.
Using an Objet 500 Connex printer Simon Ellison was able to construct the speaker driver and cone in one single piece using flexible materials that would move to create sound as in a regular speaker. Working with an audio engineer Simon was able to determine how the speakers parts could be printed together and still allow it to produce sound.
The speaker parts took 9 hours to print and a further 3 hours to carefully remove the support materials so that the speaker could be assembled and tested.
There are several metal parts of a speaker which can’t be 3D printed, such as the magnet, coil, cable and the glass enclosure. A glass enclosure was used so that the inner workings of the speaker could be seen, but this could easily of been 3D printed using a transparent plastic material.
The resulting speaker looks like a high-end audio device and it does work, but we’re not sure how great it actually sounds. Putting that aside, this is a great example of how useful, working objects can be created with a 3D printer. All be it, an expensive multi-material machine which is well beyond the means of most of us.