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3D Print a Sound Wave

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

I regularly post Fusion 360 tutorials and projects to my youtube channel.

Ever wish you could hold on to someone's word? Not their written word but their spoken word. I mean literally hold on to it.

You hear something profound and want to capture it, hold it, and display it. Experience it with your hands and eyes and not simply your ears.

I was recently driving and contemplating this exact thought (as one normally does).

And I thought, “well sure you can!”

As soon as I got home I took out my phone and my laptop. I played the audio clip I wanted to capture and recorded it on my phone.

And with the help of my 3D printer, within a couple hours, I was holding on to the spoken word. Experiencing it with my hands and eyes and not just my ears.

You can easily do the same. I’ll go over my method below.

I used my phone’s built in recording app to capture the audio. This is the voice memo app with the iphone. I’m sure there is something equivalent for Android. The app automatically gives me access to the waveform of the audio clip. I took a screenshot of the waveform and brought it into Fusion 360.

I used the sketch environment to trace the waveform.

Then extruded the sketch to give it thickness and mirrored the bodies.

I added a back plate and some color to see which filament colors to go with.

I exported the .stl file and loaded it into the 3D printer and voila! I hold the spoken word.

If you don’t know how to use a 3D modeling software but want to give this a try, I’ve got you covered. I’ve uploaded this model to Thingiverse where you can grab it.

My big aha! moment with Fusion 360 happened when I finally understood how to use Constraints. Get my free Fusion 360 Constraint Cheat Sheet and see what I mean.

But in the meantime grab this model which is of Adam Savage giving some sage advice “Fail and move on”.

Here's a video where I go through all the steps mentioned above. Enjoy!


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