3D Printing

Spirit of cassette mix magic returns with MakerBot 3D-printed Mixtape

Spirit of cassette mix magic r...
The compact cassette mix tape of old has been given a modern update by MakerBot Industries with a DIY home 3D print kit that snaps together to make a wonderfully retro tape-shaped Mixtape MP3 player
The compact cassette mix tape of old has been given a modern update by MakerBot Industries with a DIY home 3D print kit that snaps together to make a wonderfully retro tape-shaped Mixtape MP3 player
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The dictaphone-like tape box contains the electronic components and the USB cable
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The dictaphone-like tape box contains the electronic components and the USB cable
The Mixtape kit includes the MP3 player and battery and a USB cable for uploading music to the onboard storage
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The Mixtape kit includes the MP3 player and battery and a USB cable for uploading music to the onboard storage
STL file of the plastic spools, ready for home-based 3D printing
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STL file of the plastic spools, ready for home-based 3D printing
STL file of the main body, onto which the other 3D-printed components are snapped
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STL file of the main body, onto which the other 3D-printed components are snapped
The Mixtape kit - featuring instructions, electronics and USB cable. The design files will need to be downloaded and fed into a 3D printer
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The Mixtape kit - featuring instructions, electronics and USB cable. The design files will need to be downloaded and fed into a 3D printer
All the components printed and ready for assembly
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All the components printed and ready for assembly
The main body of the Mixtape, which doesn't necessarily need to be black
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The main body of the Mixtape, which doesn't necessarily need to be black
The electronics fit in the middle of the main frame, with the 3.5mm headphone jack pointing down
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The electronics fit in the middle of the main frame, with the 3.5mm headphone jack pointing down
The final part of assembly is to slot in the plastic spools to hold everything together
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The final part of assembly is to slot in the plastic spools to hold everything together
Assembled and ready to rock
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Assembled and ready to rock
Playback is controlled using the buttons on the front of the Mixtape
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Playback is controlled using the buttons on the front of the Mixtape
MakerBot has also made a ready-assembled Mixtape available to buy
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MakerBot has also made a ready-assembled Mixtape available to buy
The ready-built Mixtape is printed, assembled and shipped from MakerBot's Brooklyn workshop
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The ready-built Mixtape is printed, assembled and shipped from MakerBot's Brooklyn workshop
MP3 music files can be dragged and dropped onto the 2GB of built-in solid state storage from a Mac/PC via USB
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MP3 music files can be dragged and dropped onto the 2GB of built-in solid state storage from a Mac/PC via USB
The 3.5mm headphone jack should be at the bottom of the Mixtape when assembled
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The 3.5mm headphone jack should be at the bottom of the Mixtape when assembled
The compact cassette mix tape of old has been given a modern update by MakerBot Industries with a DIY home 3D print kit that snaps together to make a wonderfully retro tape-shaped Mixtape MP3 player
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The compact cassette mix tape of old has been given a modern update by MakerBot Industries with a DIY home 3D print kit that snaps together to make a wonderfully retro tape-shaped Mixtape MP3 player
MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape
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MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape
MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape
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MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape
View gallery - 18 images

In the days before CD, MP3 or iTunes, when Sony's Walkman was just about the only mobile music player worth having, hip young music lovers engaged in the painstakingly intricate process of recording a 45-minute-per-side compilation of favorite tunes onto an audio cassette tape. A kind of forefather to today's MP3 playlist, the mix tape was about creating a unique musical identity, an expression of personality that could be shared with those near and dear. Technology marches relentlessly on and tapes are now all-but extinct, replaced by digital files on smartphones and media players. The essence of the compact cassette mix tape has now been given a modern update by the folks from the MakerBot Industries Applications team in Brooklyn, New York, with the launch of the 3D-printed Mixtape do-it-yourself music player kit.

The first in a new series of DIY Projects, the Mixtape is available in two distinct flavors - the choice depending on whether you own something like a MakerBot Replicator or not. A DIY kit containing the electronics (including a Li-ion battery that's good for four hours of playback between charges), a USB cable and instructions is available for US$25. The design files needed for 3D printing are available for download from Thingiverse.com.

All the components printed and ready for assembly
All the components printed and ready for assembly

Once the components have been created with a 3D printer, the Mixtape just snaps together with the electronic board housed inside. The 3.5mm headphone jack should be available at the bottom (where the pressure pad would be on a cassette) and three buttons positioned on the front of the Mixtape control play/pause, skip forward or backward, equalizer, volume and reset. MP3 music files can be dragged and dropped onto the 2GB of built-in solid state storage from a Mac/PC via USB.

MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape
MakerBot has tweaked the design files to produce this one-off Gizmag edition of the Mixtape

For those not lucky enough to own a 3D printer, MakerBot has also made a ready-to-go Mixtape available for $39 (like the one-off Gizmag edition shown above), which is printed, assembled and shipped from the Brooklyn workshop.

As you can see from the following promo video, creating and sharing a personalized collection of tunes with a loved one continues into the digital age with the MakerBot Mixtape.

Source: MakerBot

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