HOUSTON: Led by an Indian-American student Apoorva Kiran, scientists at Cornell University here have 3-D printed a working loudspeaker – seamlessly integrating the plastic, conductive and magnetic parts – and ready for use almost as soon as it comes out of the printer. The 3D-printed loudpeaker has all its components 3D printed too – right from the plastic shell, the flexible membrane, the metal wires and even the magnet.
The two innovators along with Associate professor for mechanical and aerospace engineering – Hod Lipson have been now marked a new chapter in the 3D printing arena. It has become easy to think about the near future where we can have parts and components as well as complete functioning products fabricated at once as and when there is demand for it.
“Everything is 3-D printed,” said Kiran, as he launched a demo by connecting the newly-printed mini speaker to amplifier wires.
For the demo, the amplifier played a clip from President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech that mentioned 3-D printing.
“A loudspeaker is a relatively simple object. It consists of plastic for the housing, a conductive coil and a magnet. The challenge is coming up with a design and the exact materials that can be co-fabricated into a functional shape,” Kiran said.
Creating a market for printed electronic devices could be like introducing colour printers after only black and white had existed.
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