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DEEPTIME Launches The World’s First Audio Set Made From Sand

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Czech design studio DEEPTIME unveils the first commercially available audio set made from sand.

The limited-edition Ionic Sound System combines organic design and innovative use of industrial 3D printing technology. Thanks to the excellent sound quality, the system will appeal not only to design and technology lovers but also to the most demanding audiophiles. The Ionic Sound System is a set of speakers, consisting of two passive satellite speakers and one active subwoofer, suitable for home and office interiors that allow its aesthetic and sound quality to shine. The sand enclosures, made using additive manufacturing technologies, are seamless with no visible bolts or joints, which improves both appearance and acoustic properties. The system is designed and optimized to provide the maximum possible acoustic power given the very compact dimensions of the individual speakers. The standard output power of the full sound system is up to 80 W / 160 W (RMS / PEAK power), which will satisfy even the more demanding users. All the components of the audio system, including the electronics, control rings and connectors are all custom manufactured for DEEPTIME.

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The founders of DEEPTIME studio, Martin Hreben & Ondrej Chotovinsky, draw from their experience with industrial design in the automotive industry (Ferrari, McLaren, Honda, and Skoda). The design process of this unique audio set was thus influenced by the inventive approach and the demand for maximum quality design and production, so common in automotive prototyping. “For us, the design means looking for the form that reflects the nature and function of the product and builds on the benefits of the newest available technologies. We don’t want just to embellish existing standard solutions. That is the reason why our speakers do not use the standard cube or block-shaped enclosures. Instead, we employ organic shapes designed to enhance the sound quality” explains Martin Hřeben. “We find inspiration mainly in nature. All shapes in the natural world are functional in one way or another. You’ll have a hard time finding regular cube or box shapes in nature,” adds Ondřej Chotovinský.

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What makes the Ionic Sound System truly unique is the unconventional use of the 3D printing from sand, a technology known as sand printing or binder jetting. This additive manufacturing technique is mainly used to print molds for metal casting. DEEPTIME studio has developed a technological process, which turns the fragile and porous sand prints into airtight and resonance-free forms using custom made hardeners and pigments. In both appearance and properties, the resulting material evokes sandstone and displays very favourable acoustic qualities. The material properties combined with 3D printing technology allow DEEPTIME studio to design and manufacture speaker enclosures with virtually no limits of complexity and variability of the shapes or sizes.

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The years of experience in hardware development prompted the designers to produce their own set of circuit boards that drive and control the whole audio system. This heart and brain of the audio set consist of a switch-mode power supply, high-resolution DAC module, control board with Bluetooth chipset running aptX & AAC audio codecs and a powerful D-class amplifier with ultra-low noise levels. The first foundations of what was to become DEEPTIME studio and the beginning of the development of the Ionic Sound System date back to 2014. Martin Hreben and Ondrej Chotovinsky, under the brand AKEMAKE, introduced the world’s first speakers 3D printed from a wooden composite. The interest of the press and public inspired the founders of DEEPTIME studio to dive into research on new materials and manufacturing processes, to fine-tune their designs for perfect acoustics and aesthetics. In the future, the designer duo plan to expand the Ionic Sound System family with speakers of different sizes, multiple colour variants, and surface finishes.

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Ondrej Chotovinsky – Managing Director / Desing Engineer

Martin Hreben – Prototyping Genius / Quality Management

Jan Malina – CFO

Martin Zampach – Design Advisor

Photography by Ivan Pinkava and Lukas Pelech with courtesy of DEEPTIME


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