Indian-American Student Develops Print-Out a Loudspeaker Technology
New Delhi: Indian-American student Apoorva Kiran led a team of scientists at Cornell University to develop a technology which allows anyone to produce a functional loudspeaker straight out of a 3D printer.
Kiran is a graduate student of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell and developed this unique technique along with his batch mate Robert MacCurdy under the guidance of Hod Lipson. Every part of the loudspeaker is 3-D printed – from mini-speaker to amplifier wires.
The discovery has opened way to 3D printing of complete electronics products that are instantly usable, rather than having to print parts and components and assembling them.
“While loudspeaker is relatively simple, the real challenge was to come up with a design and exact designs for all its three components – plastic body, a conductive coil and a magnet that can be co-fabricated”, says Kiran.
Samanvaya Srivastava, graduate student of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell, helped Kiran to develop the viscous blend of strontium ferrite which was used to make the magnet for the project.
However, consumers will have to wait some more to be able to print functional integrated systems at home. Most printers available now cannot handle multiple materials. Besides, it is not easy to find materials that are mutually compatible. Plastic and conductive copper need different temperatures and curing times and hence, cannot be 3D-printed together.