AMS Spring 2023

The Joint Is Jumpin’! Randy Cavanagh Builds a Rockin’ 3D Printed Jukebox

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3d printed jukebox by randy cavanaghCoin-operated jukeboxes play music from a record or compact disc, and they were once called “nickelodeons.” The term jukebox itself only came into vogue in the late 1930s. Some say the origin of the name came from the African word “jook,” meaning to dance, while others say it came from the name given to roadside bars in the South, “juke joints.”

During the mid-1950s, there were some 750,000 jukeboxes blasting tunes in bars and restaurants across the United States, but with the advent of CD and digital music technologies, that number has plummeted by two-thirds.

The classic jukebox is made up of 700 to 800 different components, and their multiple layers of wood, gleaming metal grills, trim, and money changers have become reminders of a time before slick electronics and product design took over for good.

b61Da5qRandy Cavanagh, a rendering programmer at Next Level Games from Surrey, British Columbia, says he’s a costume builder by night and takes on “random programming” whenever he gets a chance.

Cavanagh has done something wonderful: he’s built a 3D printed jukebox, and it’s a superb piece of fun, functional design work.

Cavanagh says the project began when his sister-in-law asked if she could use an old jukebox application he’d written in lieu of a DJ for her wedding reception. He’d originally written the application for his parents’ anniversary, but he felt he needed to go one step beyond for this latest celebration, so he resolved to design and build a 3D model for a 3D printed jukebox to hold the laptop which ran the application.

And the results are magnificent, and all the more impressive for having been done on a horrifically short deadline. Cavanagh started to write the program in January, and needed to complete the whole project from BocE7hGdesign to final product by the wedding day — February 28th.

By early February, he started to 3D print the pieces for the project. He used his Ditto 3D printer, printing the pieces in plastic. To get a better look for the piece, Cavanagh used wood-look shelf liner he found at Canadian Tire to cover the sides.

In the end, time got the better of some of the jukebox’s full potential, and Cavanagh had to finish it using cardboard for the sides. With his high level of attention to detail, though, it all looks like a cohesive finished piece.

Cardboard sides in place and electronics finally sorted (a headache in their own right!), the jukebox was finished and wedding-ready the day before the I-Dos.jukebox

“I got the jukebox all set up and it was a huge success,” Cavanagh says. “All in all, I’m really happy with how this project turned out. It was a lot of fun to build and it was a huge success at the wedding. People had no problems figuring out how to use it and there was a constant stream of people picking out songs throughout the whole night. The dance floor never stopped rocking.”

You can check out more of his projects at his Facebook page, or read all the details of the build process on his Imgur thread — and be sure to check out more photos of the project process below.

What do you think of Randy Cavanagh’s 3D printed jukebox? Let us know in the 3D Printed Jukebox forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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