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Indian-American Student develops 3-D Printed Loudspeaker
SI Team
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Led by an Indian American student Apoorva Kiran, scientists at Cornell University have 3-D printed a working
loudspeaker with seamlessly integrating the plastic, conductive and magnetic parts. The thrilling discovery means that rather than assembling consumer products from parts and components, complete functioning products could be fabricated at once, on demand. Kiran and Robert MacCurdy, graduate students in mechanical engineering worked with Hod Lipson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, to develop this unique technique. For the demo, the amplifier played a clip from President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech from last year that mentioned 3D printing.

"A loudspeaker is a relatively simple object," Kiran explains, "consisting of plastic for the housing, a
conductive coil, and a magnet. But it will be some time before such items can be printed at home." Most printers cannot efficiently handle multiple materials. It is also difficult to find mutually compatible
materials—for example, conductive copper and plastic coming out of the same printer require different
temperatures and curing times. This makes printing fully functional components of a whole, very difficult.

Kiran who is originally from Bihar was trained as a material scientist, physicist and mechanical engineer, prior to coming to Cornell for his research. He holds an M.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and a B.Tech in metallurgical and materials engineering and physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
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