OWA Speaker: The 3D Printed Speaker based on a Circular Economy

Published on February 6, 2018 by Jamie D.
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OWA 3D have just launched their Kickstarter campaign for their DOT project which they also presented at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. This collaboration between 5 French companies led to the creation of the first customisable Bluetooth 3D printed speaker, called the OWA Speaker. This project is focused on creating a well-designed product for high-quality music whilst supporting a circular economy.

The project originates with Armor 3D, a manufacturer of recycled & recyclable 3D printer filaments. Other parties involved include FDM 3D printer manufacturer Dood, studio Bold Design, TechShop Leroy Merlin, and Sector.

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Unlike most speakers, the OWA 3D speaker includes a tough-activated light.

OWA Speaker: An Innovative and Environmentally Responsible Speaker

Each of the collaborating companies used their unique expertise to develop the OWA Bluetooth speaker. This includes light and wake-up functions, and a dawn simulator via an app. Sector took care of the electronic system, whilst Dood provided the 3D printers hosted in the TechShop, Bold Design designed the product, and Armor 3D procured the filaments.

The speaker is protected by a 3D printed bell from OWA PS filaments, consisting of 30% recycled yoghurt pots. The bell is available in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns, and is fully customisable. Under the bell, there is a 20 watt Bluetooth speaker with a 15 hour battery life and offers 360° sound. The user can control the volume by turning the bell and can turn on the built-in light by putting slight pressure on the speaker. Overall, this provides an intuitive and luxury user experience.

The DOT project goes beyond what is usually considered a function of a speaker. The OWA Speaker is therefore more of a customisable design object, which easily fits into any environment.

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The OWA 3D speaker fits in, even in corporate scenarios.

A project that reinvents production

Another interesting aspect of the OWA Speaker is that the bell can easily be changed and swapped out for a new model. You can then return the old one to Armor 3D to recycle. This further shows the benefits of circular economy thinking in the speaker, with users participating in the longevity of the project.

This project reminds us of the 3D printed street furniture in Amsterdam made from plastic waste. The project leaders also explain that the OWA Speaker is easily removable and repairable, fighting the current fashion of built-in obsolescence that companies such as Apple have fostered.

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If you get bored of a more traditional colorway, you can swap it out for another color or style.

The OWA Speaker is also a fine example of co-creation that highlights new ways of producing and manufacturing. The project 3D prints the speaker bell locally to reduce the ecological impact of printing and logistics. The project is therefore proudly ‘Made in France.’

The speaker is available for €149 on Kickstarter for the next 31 days. When released to the public, the price will rise to €199 however. So if you’re interested, get one whilst they’re cheap!

The campaign runs until March 8th on Kickstarter. You can check it out here.

What do you think of OWA 3D’s speaker? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, with all the latest news in 3D printing delivered straight to your inbox!

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