Vinyl records are making a comeback. The superior sound quality that’s afforded by records has prompted numerous musical acts to release albums on the age old technology alongside the usual CD and digital releases. Indie acts, who might not have been able to afford vinyl releases before, can now release on the medium thanks to 3D printing, but it might not be that great of a listening experience.
Wired recently visited Amanda Ghassaei, assistant tech editor at Instructables, where she is putting classic and contemporary albums on 3D printed records. She uses Objet’s Connex 500 printer to make the records due to the printer’s ability to print at high resolutions. That being said, the high resolution printing afforded by Objet’s printer is still at a lower resolution than what is required by traditional vinyl records.
Of course, the question now is whether or not the sound quality is any good. That’s a resounding no as the low resolution of the 3D printed records leads to a sound quality that’s about a quarter of the quality found in an MP3. Check it out for yourself below:
It’s a little disappointing, but 3D printers are only going to get better as the years go on. Soon or later, you’ll be able to make your own traditional records on a 3D printer. The record industry isn’t going to like it, but would they really try to ban 3D printers? I’m pretty sure plenty of people would like to see them try.