3D-printed sound absorbers: compact and customisable at broadband frequencies

Architecture, Structures and Construction(2023)

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This paper discusses a novel, compact sound absorption solution with high performance at various frequencies, including low frequencies, achieved through the effective use of Computational Design and Additive Manufacturing (AM). Sound absorption is widely applied for reducing noise and improving room acoustics; however, it is often constrained by conventional design, material properties and production techniques, which offer limited options for customising performance. This research highlights that AM, in combination with computational design tools, can support the development of novel sound-absorbing products with high performance based on the principle of viscothermal wave propagation in prismatic tubes. The potential of these designs was explored via two studies of customised sound-absorbing panels whose performance was measured in a reverberation room. A custom measurement technique was used based on logarithmic sweeps with high-resolution FFT analysis. A comparison of the measurement results with the theory of viscothermal wave propagation indicated good agreement; thus, this study demonstrates the possibility of developing new concepts and design methods for novel room acoustic devices.
3D printing, Additive manufacturing, Customisation, Sound absorption, Broadband
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