Jan 14, 2015 | By Alec

The dust has settled, and the results are in. Out of hundreds of entries for the 2014 Makerbot Ghostly Vinyl Challenge, a winner has been selected: Oana Jones from New Zealand, for her entry the Hand Cranked Vinyl Player.

If you’ve missed it, Makerbot, Thingiverse and the record label Ghostly International collaborated on a very fun 3D design and printing challenge last November. While the first two names are household in the 3D printing community, Ghostly International is an internationally-recognised record label specializing in pop/techno music (for a sample of their wares, check out this playlist).

They thought it would be fun to issue a challenge to 3D printer enthusiasts the world over to create a cool, reproducible 3D design of the company’s logo. To go back to the issued challenge: ‘Using vinyl records and turntables as a starting point, we invite you to use your design skills to create novel objects that will delight record collectors, music lovers, and audiophiles alike. Specifically, we’re looking for things to decorate, augment, or personalize your records and stereo systems.’

The contest officially kicked off on Wednesday 12 November, and concluded on the last day of November 2014. The only limits to the contest? Entrants had to be 13 or over, and their entries had to be create vinyl-inspired objects that fit within the common build volume of 10.0L x 10.0w x 12.5h cm. All Entries also had to include a description of how and why the submitted MakerBot Vinyl Design is useful or new. At stake? A fabulous first prize of a MakerBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer valued at $1,375.00. Second and third prize winners received either two or one spools of Makerbot PLA filament, also valuable prizes for the hardcore printers among us.

And last week, the three winners were finally revealed, picked by a jury of finalists consisting of the Ghostly International team and Com Truise, one of their famous recording artists. First prize obviously goes to Oana’s very impressive Hand Cranked Vinyl Player. It’s obvious why it was chosen, as this gorgeous 3D printed vinyl player can actually play vinyl records. Just add a needle for the amplifier, and you’re ready to go. Mind you, it doesn’t do so very well, as it’s difficult to properly amplify the music and keep a steady crank speed. Consequently, it all sounds high-pitch).

Beside that technicality, it’s a very inspiring and remarkably simple design and you can simply print and assemble it yourself (won’t even need support structure). There’s just one problem with this entry, and that is that it doesn’t strictly adhere to the competition’s rules (it's a 15 x 15 x 15 cm cube), but that might have been overlooked due to its simply impressive design.


The second and third prizes, meanwhile, are also well-deserved. M600’s won the second place prize of two rolls of filament for his DeskSHELL (above). ‘It’s an elegant multi-purpose container for your audio miscellanea. It prints easily, looks perfect next to your turntable, and features some clever customizable elements.’

Third prize, finally, is perhaps my favourite of the three as it simple, looks great and also easily functions: Aleccs’ Phone Amplifying Dock, that amplifies music from your smartphone. Simply slot your phone into place on the back of the structure, and all the audio is redirected and amplified through the two chambers. Isn’t that clever?

I suppose it’s hardly surprising that it took them more than five weeks to reveal a winner, as many of the other entries are just great too. Among them, you’ll find some that are absolutely amazing, fun, intricate or surprisingly simple, as well as cute designs. You can find a full overview of all entries here, and the good thing is you can easily reproduce any of them on a regular FDM 3D printer!



Posted in 3D Printing Events


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