Long, loud and luxurious, the Libratone Lounge is a single system wireless sound system that’s as much a piece of furniture as an audio accompaniment.
Libratone’s ‘FullRoom’ technology is the core feature of the Lounge; a patented acoustic technology that works with the room to fill every part of it with sound.
Available in a variety of luxurious coloured cashmere covers, this single speaker can be styled to fit with the rest of the home décor.
An acoustic concept and use case scenario was developed into hand sketching. 3D CAD modelling in Rhino developed the concept further, before Solidworks was used for the detailed 3D model into which acoustics and electrical data could be inputted.
Further acoustic and electrical analysis was carried out and physical models and prototypes built as an important tool to speed up the design and development process.
Compared to the industry in general, Libratone prides itself on having an extremely short development cycle that makes it one of the technological leaders.
Use of various prototyping, 3D printing and traditional models, meant the design team were able to cram as much technology as possible into the aesthetically simple case.
A wireless Airplay connection means a simple single interface button on the front deals with all connection issues. Once turned on, the speaker can be accessed from a smartphone or computer with wi-fi.
A single input at the rear allows other devices to be connected, so there’s no excuse for having bad and unstylish sound around the home.
Fitting comfortably on a desk, the device has an asynchronous USB Digital-Audio Converter (DAC) with support for high-resolution audio up to 24bit, 384kHz sample rate.
Despite fitting comforatably on a desk it’s far from limited in features. It packs a plethora of digital inputs, partnering well with Naim’s 50W per channel power amplifier – the NAP100.
The core software package used for the design is Solidworks, with the electronics design team using Mentor Graphics ECAD.
To bridge the gap between the two, PCB data is imported via Circuitworks, to remodel components such as connectors and resistors.
This gives the design team a better understanding of the PCB in the 3D space, helping with the challenge of proper fit and interferences on such a small unit.
Changing materials can have a big effect on overall sound quality; so with limited space on the chassis, Solidworks Simulation was used to best calculate the position on the bend returns, while keeping the aesthetics.
During batch production some parts were proving difficult to align, so a rapid prototyped jig built from the CAD data helped keep production on track for the launch date.
Naim’s 40 years of experience designing hi-fi equipment certainly pays off when it comes to moving technology forward into more compact forms.
Big screen dream
Considering the horrors of the local multiplex, a private cinema in the comfort of your own home is a luxury that many would appreciate.
With the Epson EH-TW9100W projector, not only do you get cinema sharp images, but also stereoscopic wonders – 3D prowess on a grand scale – via the included 3D glasses.
The projector body is a substantial unit (‘home projector’ doesn’t do it justice), and is designed upon feedback from Epson’s previous models.
“Once we knew the areas on the projector that we wanted to improve, we used [our proprietary CAD] software to manage the design process, which lead us through to prototype development and ultimately production,” say Epson’s in-house design team.
Straight into CAD, the model is optimised for aesthetics, size, and weight to improve the projector.
A key factor is increasing the quality of production at the manufacturing stage, making the manufacturing process as simple and cost effective as possible.
“The CAD system definitely helped us with efficiency and ensuring high quality in the projector’s production.
“For example, it was easy to share design data and parts taken from other products, to visualise the product design, simulate weight and size and to share this information between engineers.”