If you saw any portion of U2’s 360 Tour, you’ll remember the last portion of the show when Bono used a mic in a circular frame that hung down from the rafters like an old boxing mic. In addition to lighting up, the thing was damn strong, allowing Bono to swing on it like he was Tarzan.
Creating such a thing was more complicated that you might realize. From a site called Make Parts Fast:
[Tommy] Voeten [president of 1212-Studio, a company hired to help built the 360 stages ]received a second request from U2. He was asked to build a custom LED-illuminated microphone for Bono that was to be suspended from a steel cable, enabling Bono to swing from the microphone, which was named the U2MIC.
“Bono’s microphone was a much more complicated design and manufacturing challenge because of how it was going to be used on tour,” said Voeten. Again, the Dimension 3D Printer was instrumental in the development of the final product. Voeten’s team was able to print several design iterations and sections of the microphone to examine the pressure points and light distribution within the rings and between all the components. Voeten was so satisfied with the quality and strength of the printed FDM parts, he optimized the design so they could be used as final parts on the U2MICs.
The rest of the article is fascinating from an audio/video gearhead point of view. Check it out.