With vinyl sales on the rise, and even helping push the sale of physical albums over those of digital albums, being a vinyl enthusiast is no longer a niche market. All this means that if you really want to keep your hipster cred up, you’ll need to find another way of doing it — like, say, 3D-printing your very own modular turntable.
Fortunately, a new Kickstarter campaign promises you that exact opportunity. A collaboration between Swiss hi-fi manufacturer Lenco and Dutch 3D-printing company RepRapUniverse, the Lenco-MD is claimed to be the world’s first 3D-printed record player. It’s an attempt to bring together the worlds of vinyl lovers and tech tinkerers and makers to create what its designers clearly hope will be the start of something beautiful. The first functional prototype of the Lenco-MD was shown off at this year’s IFA Berlin consumer electronics event, where it was ranked as one of the top-three inventions.
The innovative modular part of the concept refers to the fact that each Lenco-MD boasts two empty module slots. These can be used to upgrade turntables by adding features like speakers and Bluetooth wireless streaming in the form of plug-and-play modules. These are currently in development, although the idea is that users will also be able to design and create their own, which can then be shared with the rest of the community. It’s a pretty original idea, and one that could certainly add to the device’s functionality provided Lenco-MD takes off.
As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the potential risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. These can include products not turning up as promised, being delayed, or occasionally not shipping at all. If you’re still willing to give the Lenco-MD a go, however, head over to its Kickstarter page to pledge your cash.
The record player is available in multiple bright colors. More importantly, there’s the option to either pay 99 euros (around $113) for the 3D-printing files, plus the necessary non-3D-printed components, or 199 euros ($226) for a fully printed version that’s ready to go. Provided that it’s able to hit its funding goals, shipping is planned to take place starting in March 2019.