week 8 / 10:
Self initiated project
I want to create a 3d printed vinyl record. Using the Ultimaker 3 at school this should be possible. Ever since I printed and designed my own chessboard I was fascinated by 3D printing. Combing this fascination with my love for vinyl records results in a 3D printed vinyl record.
- Research how vinyl records work.
- Follow along with the Instructables tutorial.
- Experiment with different settings and resolutions.
3D printed record
Create 3D printed record. Using the Instructables manual as a guide.

As I was following along with the tutorial I ran into a few problems. The STL file I generated using processing was way to detailed and be processed in Cura. I tried different computers with a STL fixing program called NetFab. I even tried the “super” computer from the VR lab. The computer has 64gb of RAM, it was using more 32gb of RAM when I tried importing my STL record into CURA or NetFab. I called it a day and went home to figure what I should do next.
The Ultimaker 3 has a precision of 20 microns, the grooves of a record are 50microns in width but detailed around 5 microns. This means the printer could perform the very basic needs for a record.
Design Research
In the first week I recreated a concept for an interactive painting of Asle’s face. The painting will be painted with conductive paint to enable users to touch the painting and experience an interaction.
Collaborative Learning
Asle and I worked together on an interactive installation as an experiment with the Makey Makey. We started brainstorming and Asle quickly came up with the idea of the forbidden fruit. An installation where an apple rests on a piece of conductive cloth. When a person tries to grab the apple the cloth registers an object within a range of 20cm. While Asle was setting up the Makey Makey, I changed a few lines of code with the help of Sherley ( She shared a more precise file ). After we made the forbidden fruit Asle and I started thinking and came up with a Monty Python inspired painting. When a user touches the feet of the soldier on the painting, you would hear : “No, it’s just a flesh wound”. And when an user touches the shield, you would hear : “We are the knights who say, Ney, Ney, Ney “
Maker Skills & Attitude
I painted for the first time with conductive paint and found out that conductive paint is really hard to paint with. The paint is very thick which results in a hard time for creating elegant brush strokes.

Asle and I experimented with a few conductors, ( an apple, cloth, a cup, human skin ) just for fun.

While I was trying to build a frame for the painting, I accidentally stapled the canvas on the wrong side. This resulted in a not well strung canvas. First I didn’t understand what I had done wrong, but Elisa pointed out that I stapled the canvas on the wrong side. So this was a noice learning moment to ask someone for help before you drive in a hundred staples, trying to fix something.
Laser cut record

This is the only working 3D printed record I found online.
What is your project about? Which fascination sparked it?
Goal of the project:
I want to achieve a better understanding of layer resolutions and vinyl records. Knowing how records are made and work will be a big help for designing the 3D printed record.
Instructables. (2018, 8 oktober). 3D Printed Record. Geraadpleegd op 24 maart 2019, van https://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Record/
Expected outcomes:
I intend to deliver a working vinyl record. The record plays a song of my choosing using a needle on a fold op paper.
Activities and planning:
Learning goals :
I will need to learn how to prepare and print with incredible precision. The record needs to me at least 20 microns to have a sample quality of 11 kHz. This is already low quality, printing inaccurate will result in even lower quality,
Support :
First I will follow the Instructables instructions. If this doesn’t work I will try different setting and printers.
Materials :
I will be using regular 2.5mm PLE plastic. A few years ago I bought 750g of black filament. I can use this for my project. If regular plastic works I want to explore the use of Ninja flex filament. Making a flexible vinyl record.
After a lot of trial and error, my computer imported a short record into Cura. I ran the generated G-code on the Ultimaker 3 with the highest possible settings. I spiced the STL in two pieces. The first piece was the middle part of the record, the part that is relatively higher and stronger than the grooves. This piece was printed on a lower resolution on the second nozzle. The second piece, the groves, were printed with maxed out setting on the first nozzle.
The result was everything except pleasing. The record was nowhere near as detailed as I wanted it to be. The groves weren’t showing and there was a clear lack of differentiation in height. When I tested the record on my record player I only heard noise.
I tried a few different prints afterwords but I realised that 3D printing a record with the Ultimaker 3 wasn’t gonna cut it.
The record required higher detailed nozzles and more accurate movements.

I looked into alternatives and came across this laser cut vinyl record. This tutorial was made by the same maker as the 3D printed record.
Printing a vinyl record on a 3D printer. The record will be generated from a mp3.
3D models and used scripts can be found on my drive :

Create laser cut record. Using the Instructables manual as a guide.


This is the only working laser cut record I found online.
Cut a vinyl record using a laser cutter. The record will be generated from a mp3.
illustrator drawings and used scripts can be found on my drive :

After the 3D printed test I came up with the laser cut alternative. The laser cutter is way more precise ( 1200dpi instead of 600dpi ) so it should be possible to cut a record.

I began with generating the record using the processing and python files provided by the Instructable tutorial. After the file generated I ran a few tests on the laser cutter to see which settings were creating the most detailed groves.

As the laser cutter is only able to cut vertical the record won’t be in stereo. In a record the combination of vertical differentiation in height and the horizontal differentiation in width and angle create a stereo sound. If one of the following is missing the record will only produce a mono sound. Meaning the record will only be heard on the Left or Right speaker.
The computer connected to the laser cutter ran into a few errors before it was able to send the file to the laser. The laser was kiss-cutting on a 3mm acrylic plate. I removed the foil to prevent loose foil in the groves.

The final result looked awesome! I quickly took it home and tried it on my record player. Unfortunately the record resulted in mostly noise. Except for a few parts, sometimes you can hear ( very far away ) a piano sound.

As the the laser unfortunately can’t produce this high level of detail on an acrylic I can’t imagine the laser cutter will be able to create a better result on a piece of wood.
For the groves I user : 15 power with 100 speed. Set to cut.

For the engraving I used the Makerslab acrylic preset for 3mm.
Laser cutting settings
Lower volume before playing.