Ever since the first known audio recording, there has always been a lot of passion around sound quality with many different companies offering their own approaches to best present audio recordings.
The team at Syng is throwing its hat into the ring with its new creation, an audio system was designed by co-founder Christopher Stringer, a former long-time leader of Apple’s industrial design group.
By merging sound technology software and industry-leading 3D printed capabilities, Syng produced the world’s first ever triphonic speaker– the Cell Alpha – delivering what it calls smart sound.
The company is leveraging HP’s Multi Jet Fusion platform to produce the Halo – a critical component of their new cell. The geometries used in acoustic products are critical to the final sound quality. Using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology and partnering with Forecast 3D on production, Syng 3D printed the horns that are used in the Cell Alpha to avoid combining multiple pieces and seams in the manufacturing process, improving the overall sound quality from the speaker at a competitive price.
Yoav Ben-Haim, director of mechanical engineering at Syng tells IndustryWeek, the ability to leverage 3D printing was front of mind as the team designed the cell to be seamless, durable, and visually beautiful. “The use of 3D printing allowed the mechanical engineering team to gain confidence in the structural integrity of the product architecture early in our design and prototyping phase,” he says. “Typically, a 3D printed prototype is used in the initial stages and then converted into a design for injection molding with a completely different material used in the production process. By using 3D printing as our production intent, any learnings about our specific resin collected in the prototype phase were directly transferable to the final production design.”
One of the key components of the Cell Alpha is the triphone, three-horned sound projector, explain Ben-Haim. “It was really important structurally for the triphone to be a single part in order for sound to have complex, uninterrupted pathways through the system,” he says. “3D printing was the one method of manufacturing that allowed us to create this component in a singular piece, and to impart it with its various functionalities: six speakers mounted with precise features, 10 pressure seals, complex airways, and unique cosmetics.”
According to Ben-Haim, the Cell Alpha is an entirely new speaker architecture that took over three years to develop. “Our goal was to build something that could deliver any form of audio content the way that the artist intended, and fill an entire space with high fidelity sound,” he says. “The challenge was really to get out of the way and ask ourselves what construction would best serve this purpose.”
Using 3D printing as our production intent allowed us to cull learnings that were directly transferable to the final production design, add Ben-Haim. “This not only included impact performance (drop tests, tip tests, etc.) but also several other properties that are important to the overall performance of a speaker such as sealing surfaces, loads imparted on the triphone by several gasket interfaces, and the resonance of the part itself and how it behaves in response to the full range of frequencies our system can produce.”