Everything old can be made new again…with a 3D printer, of course. For the audiophile, here’s a story via Open Electronics:
This project has been out for a couple of years but the development goes forward.
In order to explore the current limits of 3D printing technology, I’ve created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records and printed a few prototypes that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low the audio output is still easily recognizable, the records have a sampling rate of 11kHz (a quarter of typical mp3 audio) and 5-6 bit resolution (less than one thousandth of typical 16 bit resolution). These records were printed on an Objet Connex500 resin printer to a precision of 600dpi with 16 micron z axis resolution. The 3D modeling in this project was far too complex to do by hand, so I wrote a program to do this conversion automatically. It works by importing raw audio data, performing some calculations to generate the geometry of a 12″ record, and eventually exporting this geometry straight to a 3D printable file format. Most of the heavy lifting is done by Processing.