Here we go again with another brilliant 3D printed creation that will make you drool with anticipation for your own 3D printer. These gorgeous speakers, which put on an LED light show, were 3D printed on an Object Connex 500 3D printer. The inexpensive 3D printers on the market don’t typically print multi-materials, but the Object Connex 500 does. Evan Atherton from Autodesk created these as an experiment in using multi-material 3D printing to make a completed project (not a prototype).
Evan and the team at Autodesk used rubber and plastic to create clear crystal speaker housings, which come alive with their LED light show. The LED strips are each controlled separately, so they can create patterns and other cool displays with the different colors. The team at LumiGeek created a microcontroller so the LEDs can be manipulated with an iPad app.
According to Evan’s interview with Engadget, it took 40 hours to 3D print both speakers, another 15 hours of clean-up work after that (sanding, wiring, etc.), and another few hours to get the lights incorporated just right. The total cost of this project was around $2,000. They don’t have any plans to sell these speakers of course. They were just an exploration to showcase this new technology on a finished product. If you are interested in an audio system, you may want to look for speakers and receivers for sale at OneCall instead.
LumiGeek’s microcontroller which controls the LED light show in these speakers will soon be part of a Kickstarter campaign. According to Wired, their product (which isn’t released yet) “is a Bluetooth-programmable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller that allows the user to define the actions of an LED strip, or other visual output, based on an audio file; it’s real-time audio analysis paired with video-creation software.” In other words, when you watch this LED light show, it’s really a video playing in there. Wow, these might be the geekiest speakers I’ve ever seen.