Innovation You Can Hear

Disney is making 3D printed speakers of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Many of these speakers come in the form of toys or signature Disney character figurines. The interesting thing about these speakers is not just the shapes they come in- but that the entire object is, in fact, nothing but a speaker. The shapes can emit sound from all over or from one area in particular. An example of such is a rubber ducky that only quacks through its beak, as the sounds reverberate throughout the rest of the duck-shaped cavity. These speaker-toys have the ability to play high-quality sound reaching up to 60 decibels. They also have an inaudible ultrasonic range, putting them on a grid to be traced and tracked. Initially, coming from Disney, this capability would provide the basis for a more advanced, interactive game.

Electrostatic speakers use electromagnetism to emit sound. Electromagnetism harnesses the pressure created by magnets to create sound waves. Before expressing the energy as sound, the electromagnetic current comes into contact with a metallic electrode plate (nickel) in combination with a small buffer of air space. The current creates a vibration upon coming into contact with the plate; thus, producing sound waves. A nickel-based paint is sprayed over the parts that are designed to emit sound (acting as the electrode plate). This process allows for different electromagnetic signals to be controlled and directed to different areas of the speaker device.

Speaker_chart
“Disney Research’s 3D-printed Speakers Will Soon Make Toys and Games Much More Noisy and Interactive | ExtremeTech.” ExtremeTech. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

 

 

On another note, Apple just released the new-and-improved iPhone 6. Here are some nifty 3D printed cases:

iPhone6_cases

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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