Three-dimensional printing has only been around since ca-2003 Almost anything can be printed, though at a reduced resolution. Home-use adoption is on the rise, as 3D printing machines become cheaper. One designer created the first pseudo-record without even owning a 3D printer. The process created grooved tracks containing a song. It is the first step towards LP reproduction.
This 3D printed record uses the Fisher Price Record Players music box’s 22 notes, rather than a conventional vinyl needle. The modeling and song were generated using the Processing open-source programming language (Beads library). The designer, "Pittance," modeled the original discs. He figured out the timing necessary to use the players 22 notes correctly.
After figuring out the notes needed to inscribe Jonathan Coulton’s “Still Alive” on to the disk, the code was written. The pre-rendered disc STL file (via the Unlekker library) was sent to the online 3D printing company Shapeways. The returned disc is the one playing in the above video.
The grooves needed to create the quality of a regular stamped record compromise the strength of the plastic disk material makes a 3D print very brittle. Perhaps soon we will be able to create record quality 3D printed models of old or broken vinyl.
Soon, 3D printed models will be under scrutiny of I.P. law protection. According to the rules of SOPA, PIPA, or ACTA, Pittance could be arrested for creating a contraband Fisher Price record. Print what you can, while you can.