Autodesk and LumiGeek partnered up to build truly unique 3D printed speakers, displaying fantastic design work and the mastery of audiocreative LED systems. LumiGeek is a newcomer specializing in Arduino-compatible microcontrollers for an LED development kit. The founder, John Taylor, and Autodesk’s Applied Innovation Engineer, Evan Atherton, teamed up to showcase a really great application of 3D printing.[nggallery id=75]
The speakers were produced on an Objet Connex 500 3D printer, which is able to print multi-materials seamlessly, making it possible to print out the unique shape, which features a web of flexible black material with hard translucent plastic interspersed on the grid. The end design is an aesthetically pleasing round object, which lights up according to the rhythm of the music. The consumed materials cost $2,200, making the price ‘slightly steep’ for the average consumer.
The video below doesn’t unfortunately do justice to the sound quality, but gives the feeling that these are the real deal.
Autodesk’s Atherton 3D printed several prototypes, testing out his idea, and tried placing an LED light in one of them. Being impressed with how the light scattered within the material, he decided to contact LumiGeek to try their new standalone audioreactive tool. The tool, which hasn’t been released commercially yet, is an Arduino-compatible microcontroller allowing users to define the actions of an LED strip or other visual output as represented by an audio file. The tool is also Bluetooth programmable.
“The world hasn’t seen this before,” says Taylor, who is putting together a Kickstarter campaign with co-founder Joe Martin to get the light controlling boards, their initial product, off the ground. And while the speakers won’t be available to purchase, the top pledger could even see a similar pair of the speakers as his or her reward.
“What we’re doing is literally playing video in here,” says Taylor. But the video is first broken up into pixels to run on the LEDs at super-low resolution, and then diffused further through each transparent pillar of the speakers.
Watch the Engadget interview with Evan Atherton on this project: