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New 3D printing technique lets you create speakers out of any shape

New method opens door to all sorts of possibilities for the future of audio technology

Researchers at Disney (yes THAT Disney) have unveiled a new printing technique that lets any 3D-printed object work like a speaker, regardless of its shape.

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The way in which they were able to achieve this feat was by making the decision to use electrostatic loudspeaker technology instead of the much more common electromagnetic approach we see in a majority of speaker technology nowadays.

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For those unfamiliar with the technology, electrostatic loudspeakers date back to the 1930s. What the Disney researchers did was they 3D designed an object and included layers of electrodes and insulators in the object itself, which vibrate when a current is applied.

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Obviously, the sound quality is nowhere near what you get from today’s top of the line Bluetooth portable speakers. Depending on the size of the object being 3D printed, though, it can be extremely loud.

The researchers foresee this sort of technology becoming popular as 3D printing becomes more mainstream, and works its way into the homes. When that happens, parents would be able to 3D print toys for their children which make noise when placed on a special conducting base.

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Learn more about this pretty cool technology via the video below:

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