In April 2009, Tommy Voeten, President of 1212-Studio, was asked to build a custom LED-illuminated microphone for Bono for an upcoming tour. It was to be suspended from a steel cable, enabling Bono to swing from the microphone, which was named the U2MIC. The Dimension 3D Printer was instrumental in the development of the final product.
Voeten’s team was able to print several design iterations and sections of the microphone in order to examine and optimize the pressure points and light distribution within the rings and between all the components. The final illuminating ring is composed of two FDM shells that are assembled together.
“The ABSplus material did a phenomenal job with strength and finish,” said Voeten. “It made all the difference. It was strong, and we could finish it to perfection.” If the rings had been manufactured with traditional technology, it would have taken several hours per shell for the cutting, and additional work holding tools would have been necessary to fabricate the parts. This was eliminated by using the FDM process, resulting in lower part costs. “We saved thousands of dollars and weeks of tooling by eliminating CNC cutting of the parts, design time for work holding and additional tooling,” said Voeten.