Two students studying in Cornell University printed a loudspeaker using a 3D printer. Apoorva Kiran and Robert MacCurdy, both graduate students in Mechanical Engineering, worked with Hod Lipson, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering to customise a device that could print a variety of materials.
Made of plastic, magnet and conductive coils, the researchers had to figure out a way to have the loudspeaker ready to work the moment it was out of the printer. “Everything is 3D printed,” said Kiran, who is originally from Bihar, as he launched a demo recently by connecting the newly printed mini speaker to amplifier wires.
Lipson calls the demonstration the “tip of the iceberg” hoping that 3D would some day print electronics at home. Lipson said adding that most printers cannot efficiently handle multiple materials because it requires different temperatures and curing times.
Creating a market for printed electronic devices, Lipson said, could be like introducing colour printers after only black and white had existed.