A laser-cut wooden record that actually plays music

record photo
© amandaghassaei

If you've ever been curious about the materials that can be used for making a record, you can add a sheet of wood to the list. Instructables user amandaghassaei shows us exactly how to use a laser cutter to make functioning music records out of a piece of wood. And the results are as visually beautiful as they are aurally beautiful.

The creator, Amanda Ghassaei writes:

These records were cut on an Epilog 120 Watt Legend EXT to a theoretical precision of 1200dpi (the kerf of the cut and some tricks I used to avoid crashing the laser cutter dropped the actual precision down by ~1/6). The audio on the records has a bit depth between 4-5 (typical mp3 audio is 16 bit) and a sampling rate up to about 4.5kHz (mp3 is 44.1kHz). So far I've successfully cut audio on wood (figs 1-2), acrylic (figs 3-4), and paper (figs 5-6), and I'm sure there are many more materials that would work. I wrote the Processing sketch that generates the record cutting paths so that it can be modified for any song, material, cutting machine, record size, and turntable speed (skip ahead to download the code and learn how to make your own records).

The instructable is incredibly detailed, so if you're interested at all in creating your own wooden records, you'll get a big head start by reading through this guide.

“For me, the most interesting part of publishing these projects is to see where other people take them, and the 3-D printed records were just a little too difficult for an average person to experiment with,” Ghassaei told Wired. “I’m hoping that people will download my code and make their own records, or make something I haven’t even thought of yet.”

We're curious too. So if you try this project, let us know what happens with the results!

Laser Cut Record from Amanda Ghassaei on Vimeo.

Here's a full song:

A laser-cut wooden record that actually plays music
This step-by-step how-to guide shows you the way to make a wooden record that is as visually beautiful as it is aurally beautiful.

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