The speakers are one-of-a-kind, 3-D printed on an Objet Connex 500 at Autodesk and endowed with an audioreactive LED system by LumiGeek, a new company that makes Arduino-compatible microcontrollers for an LED development kit. Built by LumiGeek founder John “Parts” Taylor and Autodesk applied innovation engineer Evan Atherton, the speakers are both a drool-worthy experiment and an example of what 3-D printing can do now.
With about $2,200 worth of 3-D printed material, the cost is nearly prohibitive. Made possible by the ultra-high-end Connex, which can print two different materials in seamless integration — and thus a nearly continuous spectrum of materials by mixing the two — the speaker housings incorporate a web of flexible black material with hard translucent plastic interspersed on the grid. The result is two cantaloupe-sized hollow balls that look a little like futuristic blooming onions, and sound pretty darn good too.
Because of the dampening properties of the material, Atherton figured it would make a good housing for a pair of speakers. He printed several prototypes, and stuck an LED flashlight in one of them. The way the material scattered the light impressed him so much that he called Taylor immediately, and set up an experiment with LumiGeek’s new standalone audioreactive tool….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.