We've seen numerous objects created with 3D printing, but Amanda Ghassaei has been working on a rather specific use of the technology: using it to help turn digital audio files into albums you can play on your record player. In a detailed post at Instructables, she covers the testing and production process — she used "Debaser" by The Pixies as a demo track — needed to create the 33rpm records. Ghassaei has gone on to create records of songs from a number of different artists, including New Order, Joy Division, Radiohead, and Nine Inch Nails. Links to several of the 3D printing files needed to recreate them are even provided, allowing readers with the right equipment to try their own hand at printing records.
Unfortunately, the sound quality won't be acceptable to the high-end audiophile. Even with a 600 dpi printer capable of rendering layers just 16 microns thick, the audio from the records has a sampling rate of 11khz at a resolution of up to 6 bits — a fraction of what's provided by even a mediocre MP3 file. However, she writes that her goal with this specific project was to simply "produce something recognizable by approximating the groove shape as accurately as possible with the tools I had" — and in that goal she has clearly succeeded.
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