Try to spin these 3-D printed vinyl analogs at your next party, and the dance floor will likely grind to a halt. But the technique created by Instructables assistant tech editor Amanda Ghassaei for converting digital audio files into printable, playable 33 rpm records is actually pretty amazing, and as 3-D printer resolution continues ticking upward, the sound quality can only get better and better.
Printed on an Objet Connex500 printer capable of 600 dpi in the x and y axes, the vinyl analogs are reproduced using a custom-built program that essentially converts audio files into the CAD data necessary to reproduce the analog audio in the printed record grooves--a feat made possible by the relatively high-degree resolution now available in commercially marketed 3-D printers. This resolution is still an order of magnitude or two lower than the resolution of actual pressed vinyl--hence the lackluster sound you get from the 3-D printed records--but the fact that you can do it at all is impressive.
Ghassaei doesn't think the technique will ever be able to replicate true vinyl sound. Right now the 11 Khz sampling rate is roughly a quarter of what you get from the .mp3 that you're converting, and even at higher resolutions--which will produce better sound--it would be difficult to achieve the exact same sound. But that's not really the point. The point is that vinyl is old, and 3-D printing is new and combined they are very cool and interesting. And you can do it at home, if you have access to the right 3-D printing setup. Learn more about that at Instructables.
The perfect sound track to record on this would be Michael Jackson, BAD!
"... Because I'm Bad, I'm Bad-
(Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
You Know I'm Bad,get on me! come on!
And The Whole World Has To
Answer Right Now
Just To Tell You Once Again,
This is cool. It's going to be awesome when he resolution becomes high enough that you're going to be able to bring things from the digital age into back into reality.
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Please read the article and comment on it, ok. ;)
There sounds like there is a loop that is recorded into the record that is the actual sound of the record being made by the 3D printer. Is anyone else hearing that? Pretty cool though none the less.
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Please keep commenting
@drsully2001 I hear that looping sound too. My guess is that it's a result of grooves produced as the printer lays down material across the X axis. I imagine there are subtle horizontal lines going across the album. However subtle, they translate into sound. The pitch of the sound goes up and down based on the angle of the path of the needle as it passes over those lines. The pitch is highest when the needle is traveling perpendicular to the lines (needle crosses more lines, increasing frequency) and the pitch is lowest when the path of the needle is nearly parallel to them (needle crosses fewer lines, reducing frequency).
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wow this looks really neat!