The folks at Instructables tell us that Halloween is their busiest time of the year. People like to make things as part of Halloween costumes. Speaking of making things, we see that the line between designing and making is blurring, because both processes are going digital. 3D printing is one of the ways that digital fabrication is in season right now.
Microsoft referred to it as "Eating one's own dog food." Technical Adviser to the CTO, Jonathan Knowles, prefers to call it "drinking one's own champagne." Regardless of what you call it, it's always good when employees actually use the products/services their companies produce. With this in mind, I am happy to talk about a 3D printed speaker. This was recently featured on Gavin Newsom's TV show when our CEO, Carl Bass, was his guest.
The speaker design and manufacture were actually a collaboration among 3 Autodesk employees.
- Director of Strategic Innovation, Maurice Conti
- Technical Assistant to the CTO, Arthur Harsuvanakit
- Intern, Evan Atherton
The overall shape and surface texture of the speaker enclosure was designed in Autodesk 3ds Max (using topology modifier, bend and wave modifiers, and FFD lattice). The pieces were then exported as STL files and imported into Autodesk Inventor using the Mesh Enabler for Inventor plug-in available on Autodesk Labs. Evan noted "This project would've been waaayyyy harder without that plug-in."
From there the parametric items (like the screw and fastener holes), top, bottom, and back panel were added in Inventor. The design was then printed on 3D printers located right here in our Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The speaker enclosure is a combination of flexible and rigid material, printed simultaneously, so no assembly was required. All that had to be done was to install the actual speaker drivers themselves into the enclosure. The result was a high performance speaker with great acoustical properties.
Happy Halloween. Now let's go listen to "The Monster Mash."
Tricking out and treating are alive in the lab.