Home recording and other innovative methods are all part of becoming a musician, but even some of the stars resort to guerrilla tactics now and again. Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke will be releasing a collaboration with vocalist Bobbie Gordon on a 3D-printed record that uses a new technique developed by Amanda Ghassaei, a software engineer who works for the online DIY community Instructables.
The tiny ridges that line records are extremely detailed, which Ghassaei thought would prove the perfect challenge for a top-of-the-line Stratasys 3D printer. She also had to write a script that would automatically turn a music file into a record design, seeing as it’s far too complicated to do by hand.
After a fair amount of trial and error, Ghassaei managed to create a record loaded with “Debaser” by Pixies. After that, she went on to create records made of wood, vinyl and paper records using a laser cutter, which come out more scratchy than the 3D printed records, but can create a unique tone for songs like “Idioteque” from Radiohead.
Ghassaei isn’t sure that home 3D printers will ever be good enough to make printing records a common activity, but she could see bands following Okereke’s lead and using printed records for promotional purposes. They could print a unique record for each person that orders one, something which would take the idea of limited edition vinyls to a whole new level.
Images: Amanda Ghassaei