I recently stumbled across and old toy record player made by Fisher Price in the 1970s. I’m sure many of you will recognise this iconic toy … As with many 40-year old toys, it was in a bit of a sad state and a couple of the records had been lost. Technology has moved on since it was manufactured and making some new records for it seemed like a nice way to merge old technology and new.
3D printing a record might seem like the obvious choice these days, but I decided to go with CNC milling.
Why a mill you ask? Not a laser cutter or a 3D printer? Well we can’t use a laser cutter as the record needs slots in the surface but these don’t go all the way through. Laser cutters are great if you don’t need any partial depth cuts, but we do. 3D printing the record would seem to be a sensible choice and would definitely do the job. However, we will end up creating plastic pins around 1mm in size that trigger the music box hidden in the record player’s arm. I was worried about whether the extruded plastic technique used by most printers would give it the required strength.
Fred27 also put together a piece of code to help edit the music for one of these disks.