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Slideshow: 3D Printed Multi-Material Audio Speakers

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Charles Murray
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Multi-material
Charles Murray   7/26/2013 5:31:00 PM
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Great reporting, Ann. Any idea how much more a multi-material printer would cost? Is it 2X? 3X?

Charles Murray
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Re: Multi-material
Charles Murray   7/26/2013 5:46:32 PM
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Some day, I want you to tell me how in the world you found this story.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Multi-material
a.saji   7/27/2013 11:36:05 AM
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I feel the 3D printing option has already started to play the game. The innovation has started with so many compliments towards it. 3D printing will surely be embraced by many in the future and it wont take long to make things which we never expected to be.     

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Multi-material
Ann R. Thryft   7/29/2013 1:14:40 PM
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Thanks, Chuck. I'm not sure a price comparison can be made so easily, or if anyone's done that. This speaker was printed on a very high-end printer that costs several thousand dollars. To answer your other question: I don't remember, but I read and scan an enormous amount of stuff every day.



bobjengr
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Platinum
Re: Multi-material
bobjengr   8/28/2013 3:52:09 PM
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Ann--I agree with Charles--How on earth did you find this story??????  Very interesting.  I was under the impression 3-D printing had to use a single material source.  I was obviously incorrect about this one.  The capability of the printer pushes the envelope for this technology.   We can certainly add this product to our list of possibilities for "additative" manufacturing with this story.   

Greg M. Jung
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Sound
Greg M. Jung   7/27/2013 9:00:44 PM
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Great innovation idea.  I'd love to hear how it sounds.  It would be interesting to see how responsive its dynamic range would be over the audio spectrum using these types of materials.

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Sound
a.saji   7/28/2013 9:21:41 AM
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@Greg: Yes me too. Anyway I think the sound quality will be the same since it cannot be enhanced by 3D.      

jhankwitz
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Platinum
Re: Sound
jhankwitz   7/29/2013 9:13:23 AM
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Excellent point.  The primary function of a speaker is making sound, and nothing about sound is mentioned in the entire article.  It seems that most articles about 3D printing only talk about how they look and not how well they function. They also never mention how much the equipment cost to design and make the parts or how many units wound up in the scrap barrel to get the one good one in the photograph.

Amclaussen
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Platinum
Re: Sound
Amclaussen   8/9/2013 2:39:18 PM
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Proper sound reproduction, even in 2013, is still far far away from really satisfactory. But looking at this design, at least the designer DID some steps in the right direction: He's used a close to spherical enclosure. For the information of the un-initiated, back in October 1950, Harry F. Olson wrote an extraordinary paper in the AES (Audio Engineering Society) that is still being neglected by too many present day audio "geniuses" that presume the use of computers: the best shape (by far) for a direct radiating loudspeaker enclosure IS an spherical one! This truth has been ignored for many years. For a look on the (undesirable) effects of non spherical enclosures, you can find the paper and its graphs at:http://www.dwdrums.com/images/moonmic/olson_direct-radiator-loudspeaker-enclosures.pdf

Why do designers insist on using rectangular shaped boxes for 99.9% of all commercially available speakers? Because it is much easier to fabricate and place in bookshelfs and people has become familiar to see that shape. On the other side, pretending to fabricate the diaphragm and other critical parts in a 3D printer would throw away the acceptably good results that high quality conventional drivers (speakers) have today. And the article says the enclosure was made by "turning it from glass"??? (unless the glass was "blown", a conventional lathe could not possibly turn a chunk of glass... Amclaussen.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Sound
Ann R. Thryft   7/29/2013 1:13:06 PM
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Like Greg, I'm also interested in finding out how well these speakers transmit sound. The designer says he worked with an audio engineer, but that doesn't say anything about the musical sensitivity of designer or engineer.



rungun
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Iron
Re: 3D print
rungun   7/29/2013 10:34:21 AM
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It is a very nice use of the 3D print to make the speaker, but let us be real - like every other product it does use other technologies too. 

Somehow the media, the blogs and commentetors on the internt all make the 3D printer something it is not.  Sadly the common person feels that what ever they want can be printed and used.  I think we are very far away from that reality.  For example the other day - I had a Dean of an Engineering school talk to me as if he can get his body parts printed and replaced.  Now we know this so far from the truth, but that is what educated people believe, you can then imagine what the other common folks believe.  We are engineers and let us be real please.

 

jcbond_mi
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Gold
Re: 3D print
jcbond_mi   7/29/2013 11:17:40 AM
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Rungun, I believe that there is 3D printing being used for medical purposes.  I'm going off memory, but I seem to recall 3D printing being used to build a substructure on which to grow ligaments.

But your main point is well taken:  3D printing is a long way from displacing traditional means of manufacture, especially for mass production.

All that said, that is one *pretty* speaker.

rungun
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Iron
Re: 3D print
rungun   7/29/2013 11:47:43 AM
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jcbond_mi:

Thanks for your response and at least I know someone else who shares my main point.

I have read about growing tissues with a 3D print scaffold as a support structure, but that is not the same as printing replacement tissues.  (I heard enough of people who come up to me and say 3D printers can print tissues and they believe that a doctor can print tissues, organs etc and do the surgery and send you back home....


Like many other technologies that have come and gone, I am unable to predict how far this will go.   I think on of the major issues will be what loads, stresses and strains the finished product can handle. 

I used 3D printing first in 1992 and I am excited for the technology and am using it now too, but I am not a friend of the hoopla around it.

jcbond_mi
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Gold
Re: 3D print
jcbond_mi   7/29/2013 12:02:26 PM
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If you have some familiarity, perhaps you can answer this:

I used to work for a company that does outdoor LED signs.  Like every other company in this business, they purchase the LED's from China.

I was wondering if we could 3D print the LED's on the circuit boards and actually manufacture the LED tiles to order.  I did a little research, and it did seem possible (but maybe not cost effective).  Do you know if it is?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D print
Ann R. Thryft   7/29/2013 1:28:49 PM
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rungun, body parts are in fact being 3D printed, as we've covered in Design News here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1394&doc_id=256836



rungun
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Iron
Re: 3D print
rungun   7/29/2013 3:23:02 PM
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@Ann: Again body parts are being printed is not correct. 

1. For the tissues, you start with a small culture of the patient cells, give it a scaffolding and nutrients to grow (scaffolding is 3D printed in shape). 

2. For dental and bone replacements, 3D print of mould is being done and then different materials are cast/formed in the moulds.

3. In the current technology as far as I know, there is no material that be 3D printed directly as replacement because of strength concerns.  For example 3D printing a broken part of the bone sounds great, but current material do not have the "engineering properties" needed for the bone.

4. As I said many times we move an inch and we forecast that we can move a mile.  And then very soon without any progress we claim that the new technology has moved a mile....

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: 3D print
Ann R. Thryft   7/30/2013 12:38:15 PM
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rungun, "body parts" can mean several things, but an organ is definitely one of them. The 3D printed kidney mentioned in the article--which was printed during a TED talk using living cells--is not yet working, but the same institution--Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine--has developed its own modified 3D printer to produce organ and tissue prototypes.
Here's the TED talk link:
http://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_printing_a_human_kidney.html
Here are some links from the Institute:
http://www.wakehealth.edu/Research/WFIRM/Our-Story/Inside-the-Lab/Bioprinting.htm
http://www.wakehealth.edu/Research/WFIRM/Projects/Replacement-Organs-and-Tissue.htm
And stay tuned about 3D printed bone replacements--a blog is coming soon.

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