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Cornell 3D prints a working speaker -- coils, magnets and all

Brian Heater

From the sound of it, it's not a very good speaker. But then, that's not quite the point. What's particularly cool there is that a team of Cornell researchers created the whole thing using 3D printers -- the plastic shell and conductive and magnetic pieces. The speaker marks a step toward a larger utopian vision where entire products are fabricated using such techniques, not simply shells and other miscellany. That's still a ways off, of course. Aside from the clear (or not so clear) sound issues, there are some roadblocks. For one thing, there's the fact that the job still required two separate printers for different components. Also, the speaker had to be hooked up to wires to play the audio clip of President Barack Obama name-checking 3D printing. Still, it's easy to see in the short clip below where things may be going.

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