We’re trying to move away from printing plastic parts to being able to print integrated systems, active systems that can have batteries and wires.
Researchers at Cornell University have developed a method that is capable of 3D printing an entire, working audio speaker.
The process involves two different 3D printers: one prints the basic structure in plastic, while the other prints the electronic parts within the plastic structure.
It’s a two-stage operation, to be sure, but it is indeed entirely 3D printed.
The researchers believe multi-material 3D printing will open up many possibilities. Associate Professor Hod Lipson says:
Check out the video, particularly at the end where they actually play sound on the speaker. Sounds much better than Alexander Graham Bell’s first experience, even though the historical significance might be similar.