3D Printing & Imaging Music
Turntable Repair with a 3D Printer

4-turntable

If you’re cleaning up a storeroom and find a large box with wood veneer on it, you should definitely open it up and see what’s inside. In the case of this project, there was a broken, but possibly repairable, turntable. Getting the device back in working order did take some effort, but with a newly obtained 3D printer, the device is again able to produce beautiful music.

After unboxing, the record player was plugged in, but nothing moved. Fortunately, the problem was only a worn idler wheel and broken bracket for it. A new wheel was purchased, while a new bracket was designed in Sketchup and printed.

The next problem was a missing headshell, the thing that holds the cartridge containing the needle that actually contacts the record. It wasn’t possible to find an exact replacement, so the tonearm was modified to fit a more common model. After the arm’s counterweight was adjusted, things worked nicely. Finally, a new support was printed to fit the manufactured headshell coupling.

A new preamp and speakers were hooked up, as the preamp that came out of the “mystery box” was beyond repair. There’s a video on the linked project, but I wasn’t able to embed it here.  It sounds quite nice, even after whatever losses came from recording and encoding it on the Internet.

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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