Sub heading is “Don’t Get Too Excited, Hipsters“. Man, hipsters can’t catch a break these days. They get called out so often now I think I’m starting to get defensive on their behalf. But anyway, 3D printing isn’t there yet for vinyl. And maybe it never will be.
Ghassaei used Processing to write a program that translates digital audio into 3D models, which can then be printed on a plastic material using a high-resolution 3D printer. The end result can be played on any turntable, although as you can hear in the video below, it doesn’t sound very good.
That’s because even at the highest resolutions available in 3D printing, you can print audio grooves only fine enough to capture a fraction of the resolution and sampling rate of a even decent-sounding MP3. There’s also a very tiny grain and residue on 3D printed objects that interferes with the turntable stylus’ ability to pick up a clean audio signal. Still, the songs are clearly recognizable, making what Ghassaei has pulled off from a technical standpoint very impressive.