It’s the creativity and uniqueness that 3D printing can provide which draws so many people in. Conversation pieces are my weakness. I consider myself a rather frugal individual. However, I love picking up items which are unique, items which beg the question of “What the heck is that?” or comments like “Holy Cow, that’s so cool!” Whether it’s the alligator head sitting on my coffee table, or the 500 million year old fossil of a trilobite I have on my office desk, these are things I enjoy collecting, and don’t mind spending a little bit of money on.
While you may not see many trilobite fossils or alligator heads in people’s homes, they aren’t exactly unique either. With decent design skills, and a desktop 3D printer, you can create items which are one of a kind, and I don’t mean little trinkets or toys which you end up throwing away eventually.
Take for instance a man named Eric Nelson, who runs ikyaudio. He has been making and selling creatively designed speakers on Etsy for five years now. These include speakers built into Midleton oak whiskey boxes, as well as those created from PVC pipes which look as if they are a cross between a lobster and a metal pipe. It wasn’t until Nelson got his hands on an UP! Mini 3D printer that his creativity could really run wild.
“I got started in 3D printing at the Chicago Public Library, took a short class and started using Tinkercad.com to make the drawings. I used their printers to then print them,” explained Nelson to 3DPrint.com.
His latest project is for what he calls 3D printed sound spheres which come with their own 3D printed amp. The speakers, which look like something you may find in a science fiction movie or on board an alien spacecraft, are approximately 5 inches in diameter, and house 3 inch magnesium/aluminum alloy full range drivers. The amp box features a 15 watt class T digital amplifier, and goes well with the 3D printed speakers.
“I’m thinking about starting a Kickstarter project to get my own printer and start to sell these on Etsy, but I’m still working out the details and also want to do more research into what printer I want to buy,” Nelson told us.
Nelson’s creativity has been able to present something unique to the music-loving community. And although these are not available yet, Nelson plans on eventually listing these speakers, and likely many new creative designs, on Etsy in the near future. Let’s hear your thoughts on his work in the 3D Printed Sound Sphere forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below of the speakers and amp in action.