May 27, 2015 | By Alec

While most of the 3D printing community will agree that this exciting manufacturing technology is capable of revolutionizing the electronics industry, it usually produces very basic electronics featuring some lights, wires and an Arduino. Nothing that really keeps the executives of Sony up at night. But we sometimes see examples of robots and other electronics that seem to truly capture that potential and hint to a whole lot more. And that is exactly what a small British startup Botz&Us have done with their creation: the world’s first 3D printed CD player, a device they argue is just as good as any high-end sound system.

If you’ve never heard of Botz&Us, that’s because they’re simply a small group of four friends who live together in the English countryside and dream of big solutions for small problems. ‘At Botz&Us we are committed to developping a range of extremely friendly home companions that can assist their human pals in a variety of daily tasks and mundane chores,’ they write on their website. ‘We are actually working on a home companion robot, hoping to launch a first version by the end of the year. This was the main reason we got the printer, so we can build the first prototypes and a base to test on.’

However, the first creation to roll out into the world is their 3D printed CD player, which was masterminded by one of them, Andrei. As he explained to, he has been an audiophile at heart for years and years, and has been building speakers for more than a decade already. ‘One of my friends makes some amazing audio kits - amplifiers, volume controllers, cd-players etc. They are what connoisseurs would call "very, very high end kits" - basically equipment that costs under £500 in kit form and can match anything over £1500-£2000 - just to set the scene.’

However, he has simultaneously been heavily experimenting with 3D printing technology, so why not combine the two? ‘Since I got the 3D printer - Makergear M2 – I have been dreaming of printing a pair of speakers and some original cases for my equipment. With 3d printing you can do some pretty amazing things for vibration damping, combine different materials and create composite structures with pockets etc to get a very interesting damping and response,’ he says.

So making a functioning CD player was a logical next step, and the unit visible in the photos above and below is the first iteration, 3D printed in ABS. The design itself was made in Solidworks and Silmplify 3D software. It’s also quite large at 180 x 230 x 100 mm, so it would take at least 32 hours to fully 3D print with a regular setup. Fortunately, Andrei had a trick up his sleeve: the V6+ volcano hotend by E3D. ‘This is one truly amazing nozzle and the prints it makes are fantastic. Very strong and very fast! The whole unit now takes about 6 hours for all parts needed.’ This even includes all mechanical features inside the CD player; really only the electrics haven’t been 3D printed.

But of course the real question is: how does it perform? You can judge for yourselves in the video below, but Andrei firmly states that its quality is right up there with the greats of the music world, such as Audiolab and Arcam. ‘It is up there with these guys. Overall it is an amazing player and a great performer,’ Andrei says.

While you can decide that for yourself, one thing is certain: we will definitely hear more from Botz&Us, Andrei confirms. ‘I am just finishing Mark II of the model and will soon print in more interesting filaments - wood and carbon fiber are top of the list. Also looking at other bits of an audio system to take this to the next level.’



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Bad Bob wrote at 5/27/2015 8:53:52 PM:

Challenge Accepted... A piezo needle scanner with a custom needle can scan the internals of this key. I already own scanning equipment that can do internal scanning of bores down to 2mm and upto 1mm undercut. The key would be fabricated in two halves cnc cut in metal using equipment a hobbyist would most likely have.

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