The speakers are one-of-a-kind, 3-D printed on an Objet Connex 500 at Autodesk and endowed with an audioreactive LED system by LumiGeek, a new company that makes Arduino-compatible microcontrollers for an LED development kit. Built by LumiGeek founder John “Parts” Taylor and Autodesk applied innovation engineer Evan Atherton, the speakers are both a drool-worthy experiment and an example of what 3-D printing can do now.
With about $2,200 worth of 3-D printed material, the cost is nearly prohibitive. Made possible by the ultra-high-end Connex, which can print two different materials in seamless integration — and thus a nearly continuous spectrum of materials by mixing the two — the speaker housings incorporate a web of flexible black material with hard translucent plastic interspersed on the grid. The result is two cantaloupe-sized hollow balls that look a little like futuristic blooming onions, and sound pretty darn good too.