3d printed speakers...

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firedog

http://www.popsci.com/2015-detroit-auto-show-you-might-be-able-buy-3-d-printed-cars-in-2016
http://blog.caranddriver.com/made-in-detroit-local-motors-printed-a-car-at-the-auto-show/
http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/07/08/local-motors-reveales-design-for-transforming-3d-printed-production-car/

3d printed functioning cars are already coming, and at relatively competitive prices. Can high-end speakers be far behind?
One of the things that makes some of the very high-end speakers very expensive are the number of skilled man hours put into building very stiff, sophisticated cabinets. In a few years I bet we have very good speakers with 3d printed cabinets that rival today's expensive high-enders for a much lower cost to the consumer.

Kenneth Patchen

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Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #21 on: 9 Jul 2015, 09:43 am »

Folsom

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #22 on: 9 Jul 2015, 06:32 pm »
I bet every skilled work is thrilled to lose their job... 3D printing is cool, but it certain aids the robot take over  :o
« Last Edit: 11 Jul 2015, 11:34 pm by Salis Audio »

Phil A

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #23 on: 11 Jul 2015, 01:17 pm »
There are already those making products for the consumer - http://www.gramohorn.com/

Flinx99

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #24 on: 11 Jul 2015, 02:50 pm »
I bet every.  skilled work is thrilled to lose their job... 3D printing is cool, but it certain aids the robot take over  :o

My immediate reaction is to completely agree with you, but I would think that in the space of high-end speakers, the appeal of hand-crafted speakers would remain for those currently willing to spend what they do.  The benefit to 3D printing would be to bring the cost of high-end speakers down to the level were purchases could even be considered.  It would certainly allow for funds to be moved into other equipment.  I always thought the speakers really drove the system until I bought my current amp.  My old speakers sounded much, much better.  If high-end speakers became relatively cheap, they could become the "killer app" that brings more people into the world of high-end audio.  Wouldn't you arguably have an "all boats rise when the tide comes in" scenario in the hi-fi industry?

Folsom

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #25 on: 11 Jul 2015, 11:37 pm »
Perhaps that'd be good, especially since I don't do anything with speakers.

But I think we've got a bigger problem that people can't afford to pay someone to hand built something for them. There's enough junk out there so I hope this hobby can try to stay shy of it... One's better off with DIY if funds aren't high!

Flinx99

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #26 on: 12 Jul 2015, 04:16 pm »
Perhaps that'd be good, especially since I don't do anything with speakers.

But I think we've got a bigger problem that people can't afford to pay someone to hand built something for them. There's enough junk out there so I hope this hobby can try to stay shy of it... One's better off with DIY if funds aren't high!

In my personal experience, the first hurdle was being exposed to "hifi" for the first time.  Reading about it can't pass on the effect of listening to the amazing soundstage previously hidden in a familiar recording.  That was the "hook" for me.

The hand crafted affordability is an interesting issue.  I guess a good analogy would be prints of paintings versus originals.  Until seeing the original, most folks would be happy with the framed prints behind a sheet of glass.  How long did the original take to paint? 
What type of lifestyle does the artist wish to live?  That's probably his sole source of income and the amount of hand-crafted items available to fund  the artist's lifestyle are probably directly related to time available and quality produced.  High quality generally means high time, which will translate into higher labor costs than material costs, thus more expensive than something mass-produced.  I apologize for stating the obvious, but I'm thinking as I type.  There is no easy solution for this.  :  ).  Oddly enough, you might be able to argue that in some areas, 3D printing could be the new hand-crafted.  Imagine being able to make many of your own parts in something you designed from the ground up?  You can change your designs periodically as you are able to focus more time on development and iterative improvements.  You would be your entire QA department.  :  ).

Going back to the all boats rise scenario and your desire that more folks be able to afford hand-crafted items, a rise in the standard of living for all would be great.  Then it would be a matter of trusting the artisans not to raise their prices.  :  ) 

Folsom

Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #27 on: 12 Jul 2015, 04:28 pm »
I've become interested in using some 3D printed parts in power conditioners because it would make some things more viable. Avoiding the need to order plastic injected moldings by the tens of thousands has an appeal.

I have to note that standard of living has dropped dramatically in the USA as we've "improved" with technology take over - not sure how a direct correlation would be made.

We may be seeing some rather funky speakers in the future...

virtue

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Re: 3d printed speakers...
« Reply #28 on: 29 Jul 2015, 05:10 am »
Speakers are too hard to "tune" to go for anything but absolute rigidity.  That will require a polymer and process that is every expensive to print at scale.  For an amplifier enclosure, it makes total sense and I fully planned on distributing plans last year.

There is so much fun to be had building speakers out of useful exotic materials if you had the tools.  For instance, CaesarStone would be totally useful as it is non-resonant, heavy, relatively easy to cut, and attractive.

http://www.caesarstone.com/en/Customer-Service/Pages/FAQ.aspx