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February 4, 2015

3D Printed Products are Better; Where’s Yours?

I recently completed my first project with a new client — Dana of Spectrum Acoustics. Folks like Dana are my ideal customers — passionate about their work and determined to improve their product with new technology. Dana approached me with a labor-intensive part that he’s been manufacturing with a table saw for his speaker systems. He hired me to redesign the part in CAD and manufacture it for him with 3D printing.

3D printed products often mean big savings in time, money, and parts. When he switched to a 3d printed product, Dana saved 66 parts cut on the saw, 216 holes drilled in aluminum, 432 drilled and tapped holes, and 432 bolts!

20140723_183427_resizedEach not-printed waveguide is a TON of manual work!

Dana uses his patented speaker and waveguide design in line arrays and spiral arrays for everything from auditoriums to festivals and outdoor events. Line arrays carefully channel sound through aperture path length corrected gaps to maximize constructive interference and minimize deconstructive interference — increasing throw and dispersion. Our 3D printed waveguides used in conjunction with mechanical barriers provide frequency ranges that simply cannot be achieved with normal line array construction methods. As you walk around Dana’s line array setups, you hear fewer gaps in the sound across a greater range of listening angles. No matter where you are in the audience, you get good sound. As speakers improve and come down in cost, Dana uses smaller and smaller speakers, minimizing cost and maximizing sound quality and sound stage.

Folks like Dana are my ideal customers — passionate about the work they do and determined to use new technology to improve their product or invention.

Dana knows all about sound and speakers, but not as much about CAD design and 3D printing. He thought about purchasing a printer, but wisely decided to hire me to design and produce his waveguides. By hiring me, Dana gets to focus on what he’s best at: producing great sound, and I focus on what I’m best at: creating great 3D printed products.

crossSectionIsoThe capabilities of 3D printing allowed me to improve performance by aligning the waveguide to the speaker surface.

Not only did we save Dana loads of assembly time, but the 3D printed waveguides directly improve his system performance. Additionally, Dana can easily scale or reconfigure his design. Unlike a traditional plastic mold, we can quickly and efficiently reconfigure the speaker positions or scale the product for smaller speakers.

2014-11-19 15.38.22The 3D printed waveguide can easily be re-configured for different speaker sizes and arrangements.

Folks often lament the fact that we don’t have a Star Trek Replicator — that 3D printing isn’t good enough. So many are sitting and waiting for 3D printing to change the world, but what they don’t realize is that it’s up to us to make that happen. People like Dana are on the front lines: taking the plunge, 3D printing his products, and making his business more competitive. Come join the ranks — get in touch to make your own 3D printed product!

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