Buying a set of stylish bookshelf speakers is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and remains legal in most free countries around the world. However, if you really want to impress with a pretty pair to crank out your tunes, you might consider designing and printing your own. [EH_Design] did just that with a stylish 2.1 Bluetooth audio system.
The 2.1 designation refers to the use of two stereo channels plus a subwoofer. It’s a popular setup as human perception means it’s not as necessary to have stereo imaging for low frequency content. The build uses a Texas Instruments TPA3116D2 Class D amplifier with a Bluetooth input, with the efficient design allowing the build to be more compact without the need for as much heat sinking. A 24 V supply delivering up to 3 A is specified, providing plenty of volume when needed. The speakers themselves consist of 3″ drivers mounted in attractive 3D-printed shells, with the “subwoofer” consisting of a pair of 5″ woofers paired up in a special isobaric enclosure that enables a smaller volume to acoustically act like one double the size.
The result is a futuristic-looking set of bookshelf speakers that remind us of some of the fancier high-end sets often seen in hi-fi magazines. Of course, if 3D printing enclosures isn’t enough for you, you could always consider 3D printing the actual speaker driver itself. When you do, let us know how it goes!
In the world of speakers, mass is the enemy of high frequency response. In order to get the crispest highs, some audiophiles swear by speakers in which the moving element is just a thin ribbon of metal foil. As the first step towards building a set of ribbon headphones, [JGJMatt] has designed a compact ribbon speaker made from aluminum foil.
A 3D-printed body holds six permanent magnets, which produce the static magnetic field necessary for the speaker to work. The sound itself is produced by a corrugated aluminum diaphragm made by taking a strip of foil and creasing it with a gear. Aluminum is difficult to solder, so electrical contact is made with a couple of short segments of copper tape. A little Blu Tack and glue hold it all together, and the result is stunning in its simplicity.
Check out the video after the break to hear how it sounds. If you want to try this yourself, it’s important to remember that ribbon speakers have very low input impedances (0.1 Ω for this design), so in order to prevent damage to your amplifier, a transformer or series resistor must be used to bring the impedance up to the 4-8 Ω your amplifier expects.
[JGJMatt] is no newcomer to exotic speaker technology—check out these thin distributed-mode loudspeakers they made! If you’re more interested in recording music than playing it, you might want to read about how a metal ribbon suspended in a magnetic field is used to make incredible microphones. Shout out to [Itay] for the tip. Continue reading “A Hi-Fi Speaker From Some Foil And Magnets”
Although we all wish that our projects would turn out perfect with no hiccups, the lessons learned from a frustrating project can sometimes be more valuable than the project itself. [Thomas Sanladerer] found this to be the case while trying to build the five satellite speakers for a 5.1 surround sound system, and fortunately shared the entire process with us in all its messy glory.
[Thomas] wanted something a little more attractive than simple rectangular boxes, so he settled on a very nice curved design with few flat faces and no sharp corners, 3D printed in PLA. Inside each is an affordable broadband speaker driver and tweeter, with a crossover circuit to improve the sound quality and protect the drivers. The manufacturer of the drivers, Visatron, provides very nice speaker simulation software to select the appropriate drivers and design the crossover circuit. The front of each speaker consisted of a 3D printed frame, covered with material from a cut-up T-shirt. These covers attach to the main body using magnets and really look the part.
After printing, [Thomas] soaked all the parts in water to clean of the PVA support structures but discovered too late that the outer surfaces are not watertight and a lot of water had seeped into the parts. In an attempt to dry them he left them in the sun for a while which ended up warping some parts, so he had to reprint them anyway. The main bodies were printed in two parts and then glued together. This required a lot of sanding to smooth out the glue joints, and many cycles of paint and sanding to get rid of the layer lines. When assembling the different pieces, he found that many parts did not fit together, which he suspects was caused by incorrect calibration on the delta-bot printer he was using.
In the end, the build took almost two years, as [Thomas] needed breaks between all the frustration, and eventually only used one of the speakers. We’re glad he shared the messy parts of the project, which will hopefully spare someone else a bit of trouble in a project.
Listening to a high-quality audio setup is always a pleasure, and we’ve covered several projects from audiophiles, including affordable DML speakers, and 3D printed speaker drivers.
Continue reading “3D Printed Speakers With Many Lessons Learned”
There are few limits to the extent audiophiles will go in their quest for the perfect sound. This applies in particular to the loudspeaker, and with that aim [Heine Nielsen] has created an eye-catching set of 3D-printed egg-shaped enclosures.
The theory of a loudspeaker enclosure is that it should simulate an infinite space behind an infinite plane in which the speaker driver is mounted, and the reasoning behind spherical or egg-shaped enclosures goes that they better achieve that aim through presenting a uniform inner surface without the corners of a more conventional rectangular enclosure. [Heine]’s enclosures 3D-printed ported enclosures achieve this more easily than traditional methods of building this shape.
A loudspeaker enclosure is more than just a box though, whatever material it is made from must adequately dampen any resonances and absorb as much energy as possible. Conventional speakers try to achieve this by using high-mass and particulate materials, but 3D-printing does not lend itself to this. Instead, he created a significant air gap between two layers which he hopes will create the same effect.
This is an interesting design and approach to speaker cabinet construction, but we think from an audio perspective its one that will be well served by more development. What would be the effect of filling that air gap with something of higher mass, for example, and should the parameters of the egg shape and the port be derived for a particular driver by calculation from its Thiele-Small parameters. We look forward to more on this theme.
These aren’t the first 3D-printed enclosures we’ve seen, but if you’re after something truly unusual how about an electrostatic?
We think Formlabs has really figured out the key to advertising their line of 3D printers — just design really cool stuff that you can 3D print in resin, and release them publicly! To celebrate a firmware upgrade to the Form 1+, they’ve designed and released this really cool 3D printed speaker which you can make yourself.
Designed by [Adam Lebovitz], the speaker can be printed in just a few jobs, using their flexible resin for the dynamic components. It even sounds pretty damn good.
As you can see in the following exploded view of the speaker, almost the entire thing is 3D printed out of just two materials — minus some copper wire, 37 disc magnets, and one cap screw.
Continue reading “3D Printed Speaker Pushes Rapid Prototyping Boundaries”