A very interesting application for 3D printing came to our attention recently, which takes printing Fisher Price records to another level. Amanda Ghassaei posted on instructables demonstrating a method for converting digital audio files into 3D printable 33rpm records.

Although the quality is low, the songs can still be recognized (watch the video below). However, this is a very interesting application for 3D printing and can surely be improved and taken to a higher level regarding sound quality.

Amanda has been posting a lot lately about audio projects and her experiments with simple tools and techniques to approximate and recreate audio signals. This project was her first experiment beyond electronics and exploring how audio signals could be applied to a 3D printer. The records were printed using an Objet Connex500 with UV-cured resin. The Connex500 has very high resolution, indeed it is among the highest available within the current selection of 3D printers, but it has to be said, it is still lower than the resolution of a real vinyl record – but not miles behind.

Amanda’s post illustrates the full workflow and how anyone can convert any audio file into a 3D model of a record that can be optimised for playback on a turntable. In order to complete the 3D modeling she had to create a program to carry out the conversion automatically because none of the traditional CAD packages provided the solution. Amanda’s program imports raw audio data, performs calculations to create the geometry of a record, and then exports the geometry to a 3D printable file format. Most of the heavy lifting is done with Processing.

Have a look at the video and image gallery below for an insightful view on how everything was done, or even better, read the full instructable and try it out for yourself. If you do, let us know how it goes.

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