There’s no doubt that 3D printing is going to play a huge part in the future of manufacturing, especially now that researchers at Cornell University have managed to print every component of a fully functional speaker — including the cone, the wiring, and even the magnet.
Because plastic is used for the speaker cone — which is heavier than the paper-like materials traditionally used — the speaker doesn’t exactly sound amazing, but as a proof of concept it’s an awesome accomplishment. A silver ink was used to create all of the speaker’s wiring and its coil, while an extrudable material that included strontium ferrite was used to 3D print the magnet. Once completed, a small bit of assembly was all that was needed to bring the speaker to life, and while Bang & Olufsen has nothing to worry about yet, mankind has just inched a bit closer to realising Star Trek’s replicators. [designboom]