Tag Archives: music

Pimp My Fisher-Price: 3D Printing Rock Tunes on Vinyl Records

Fisher Price 3D Printing Record Player

With iPods and iPads today, most kids probably don’t even know what a “record” is. Back in 1971, vinyl was the medium for listening to music, and Fisher-Price naturally sold a kids record player which would produce sound by reading plastic discs. The only songs available on this player were kids’ songs, of course, until a 3D printing enthusiast figured out how to print his own records.

Instructables user Fred27 detailed his method:

A little while ago I stumbled across an old toy record player made by Fisher Price in the 1970s, and decided that what it really needed was some new tunes. I got thinking about it, reverse engineered the way it was encoded, got out my trusty CNC mill and created an Instructable all about it right here.

I was blown away by the response to it, but I only know of one person who had a goat milling their own. Whilst the mill did a great job (and I explained how to convert your own too), a CNC mill is not the sort of thing that everyone has access too.

So as promised, I decided that a 3D printed version would follow to give more people a chance to get creative. More people have a 3D printer or have access to one. And even if you don’t, once you have the STL file there are plenty of places that will bring your creation to life and mail you a physical copy.

I thought about just adding to my previous Instructable, but to be honest it’s only the music editing side of things that’s the same. Everything else from the file creation to the production is very different. I thought a new Instructable would be neater.

Fred27 actually created his own software to map music to vinyl.

Mapping Music to Vinyl 3D Printing

Once you have the CAD file, you can either print on your 3D printer or order from a 3D printing marketplace.

3D Printed Vinyl Record

Below is a video of the Fisher Price record player using one of the 3D printed records to play Stairway to Heaven and other tunes.

If you want to buy some of Fred’s records, head over to Shapeways to pick up Stairway to Heaven or Star Wars on a 3D printed record.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Burning Man, Hype Cycle, Imagine 3D Printer

Burning Man 3D Printing

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from August 22 to August 26.

Wednesday, August 22

Innovative Consumer Products for Painters, Photographers, and Musicians

Splat Palette Shapeways

We are excited to see some innovative consumer products in this week’s Friday Finds from Shapeways.

Above, the Splat Palette by Polychemy, when you want to paint with a variety of colors.

Guitar Strap Pick Holder Shapeways

Here is an innovative idea, a Guitar Strap Pick Holder by DreamTree Imagination Studio.

iPhone Case Ripples Shapeways

And finally, an iPhone Case Ripple by Spaho Design, a 3D printed optical illusion.

Via Shapeways blog.

3D Printer Firm MakerBot Takes on the MP3 Market Player With MixTape

MakerBot MixTape

MakerBot is well known for its affordable consumer 3D printers. Now the company is branching out into consumer entertainment products with its new MixTape – buy it or print it.

From the MakerBot website:

A long time ago, before Pandora or RDIO or even ancient technologies like iTunes, there was the mixtape — a carefully selected group of songs, organized into a playlist and recorded onto a cassette. You had to get these songs from other tapes or even record them from the radio. You had to have a machine that allowed for transferring songs from one tape to another tape. The whole process took planning… and patience. But the payoff was oh so sweet.

The MakerBot Applications team, our division of makers and designers, have figured out a way to bring this magic back to life — with a modern twist — and make it 3D-printed, too.

MakerBot Mixtape Unassembled

If you own a MakerBot printer, the unassembled “print your own” version sells for $25. Or you can buy an assembled MixTape for $39.

CNET reviewed the device.

The actual specs of the MixTape MP3 player are modest. It has 2GB of storage capacity, and a 4-hour lithium-ion battery that charges when you connect it to your Mac or PC via the included USB cable. The MixTape also conveniently functions as a standard thumb drive.

MakerBot produced the video below to showcase the nostalgia and romance of the MixTape product.


Will 3D Printing Disrupt the Lucrative Toy Industry?

LEGO Star Wars kits are currently selling on Amazon.com for hundreds of dollars. Even small components come with a hefty price, such as a V-wing Starfighter that measures 9″ when full assembled and costs $20.

Enter 3D printing and open-source design package LeoCAD. If kids could design their own LEGO-style building kits and print them out on their home 3D printer, why wouldn’t they? Hey, even LEGO is training kids how to design online with the LEGO Digital Designer.

With the price of toys so marked up, it’s within reason to think that kids will turn to generics or pirated designs to fill out their toy chest after parents tap out the budget at retail.

Look back at the music industry. The only way to buy music in the late 90s was to purchase the full album at retail. Then Napster and other P2P sharing software came along and allowed consumers to download individual mp3 songs, albeit pirated. When iTunes launched with individual song pricing and a more reliable service than the P2P networks, consumers flocked to the legal alternative. The retail music industry died but the digital music industry was born.

Perhaps in the next 5 years we’ll see the retail toy industry collapse and be replaced by a digital successor. The question is whether we will see a digital toy black market in the interim. In our view, that will be up to the toymakers and their willingness to disrupt their current model.

Some references are from MIT Technology Review.