Are 3D Printed Speakers to DIY for? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-23-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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3D printing is becoming more popular, affordable and capable. This is exciting news for the DIY crowd - it promises to make advanced speaker and subwoofer building much easier. There are some DIY speaker builders who have talent that is undeniable, but most people don't have the tools or the skills required to create enclosures that compete with high-end commercial offerings. 3D printing promises to change that by eliminating the need for woodworking skills. The potential exists to create radical designs in terms of how the interior cavity is engineered, incorporating ports and bracing that would be difficult or impossible to create with traditional methods.

After doing a bit of digging, I found some interesting examples of how 3D printing is already empowering DIY speaker and subwoofer designers. 2014 is going to be the year of the first-ever 3D printed house. Imagine the possibilities that presents a DIY home theater buff. For now, let's look at what's already possible:

Dodecahedron speakers are a popular 3D printed DIY speaker project
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At normal listening distances, an array of twelve speakers arranged on the faces of a dodecahedron is a very good approximation of a point sound source, and the sound waves it produces are very close to perfectly spherical.

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Dodecahedron-Speaker-for-Desktop-Printers/

Check out this gorgeous bookshelf/desktop speaker enclosure that was created by some good folks over at AutoCAD.. The entire enclosure - including openings for the drivers and details like screw holes - was 3D printed in one shot.
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. The speaker enclosure is a combination of flexible and rigid material, printed simultaneously, so no assembly was required. All that had to be done was to install the actual speaker drivers themselves into the enclosure. The result was a high performance speaker with great acoustical properties.

http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2012/10/3d-printed-speaker-made-at-the-office.html

I found this enigmatic slo-mo video on YouTube - It claims to be a rotary subwoofer built primarily with 3D printed parts. Unfortunately there is no link to a build thread or any other information
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Rotary subwoofer, 16.5" (420mm), created primarily with my 3D-printer. Recorded at 480 fps. It will start 'woofing' at around sec. 15 at about 22Hz.
You can see the door to the garage (in which it was fitted and which was fixated) moving as a result.

The 'Sway' portable speaker is based on a housing constructed of 3D printed parts
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Sway is designed so the user can customise parts to reflect their own personal style. The speaker grills have changeable designs, along with a silk layer that adds a splash of colour and protects the electronics. Being able to influence the look of the music player helps build a stronger attachment to the device and encourages people to think of electronics as something to be treasured.

http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/move_over_jambox_vintage_via_3d_printer_in_sway_portable_speaker_22759.asp

Here we see an interview with a systems engineer at Harman International about 3D printing and product development. There is a lot of promise for DIY folks interested in experimental waveguide designs.
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Robert Scoble interviews Charles Sprinkle, a systems engineer at Harman, a maker of audio equipment. Sprinkle uses Arduino and 3D printing in the design, testing and improvement of new speakers at Harman.

ZDnet discusses 3D printing in general
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It paves the way for prototypes to be designed more efficiently and the cost of adoption is falling, but for 3D printing to reach mainstream adoption, its use must first be simplified for the non-technically savvy
http://www.zdnet.com/3d-printing-heads-toward-mainstream-7000010176/

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post #2 of 24 Old 01-23-2013, 11:13 AM
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I wonder how expensive it will be to do? Hopefully not as expensive as a milling machine.

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post #3 of 24 Old 01-23-2013, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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At any given size/capacity, 3D printers cost something similar to a CNC milling machine of similar capacity, or less. The price of 3D printers is dropping while capacity is increasing at a higher rate than with CNC milling, plus there are different capabilities to consider: Since 3D printers can create enclosures that are hollow and incorporate ports and bracing, complete speakers can be created in one shot from a digital plan... which would need to be done in parts or layers with CNC and that would be much more challenging - and in the case of some designs almost impossible to accomplish. It's a very bright future for DIY speaker designers.
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I wonder how expensive it will be to do? Hopefully not as expensive as a milling machine.

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post #4 of 24 Old 01-24-2013, 11:29 PM
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I was looking at 3d printing online and I don't quite understand how it works. Would a speaker be made out of plastic? Does it melt the plastic to make it solid?

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post #5 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 12:22 AM
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From the above video ... I take it the 3d printing would only be for making small plastic parts?

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The two applications I see are for speaker enclosures and for waveguides. Current, affordable machines are size-limited to about 6"x6"x10" although much larger machines exist. Once the Makerbot units get to 12"x12"x18", DIY bookshelf speaker enclosure designs will be possible.
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From the above video ... I take it the 3d printing would only be for making small plastic parts?

Indeed that's what the machines do. Think inkjet printer, but with melted plastic coming out the nozzle.
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I was looking at 3d printing online and I don't quite understand how it works. Would a speaker be made out of plastic? Does it melt the plastic to make it solid?

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post #7 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 07:56 AM
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I'd try it! I'm excited about 3D printing.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

The two applications I see are for speaker enclosures and for waveguides. Current, affordable machines are size-limited to about 6"x6"x10" although much larger machines exist. Once the Makerbot units get to 12"x12"x18", DIY bookshelf speaker enclosure designs will be possible.
Indeed that's what the machines do. Think inkjet printer, but with melted plastic coming out the nozzle.

You can print in 3D with different materials. 3d metal printing has been going on for some time now. There was news on cnn.cm yesterday I believe , where some one is printing entire house and very unique looking as well.

http://production3dprinters.com/slm/direct-metal-slm

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2012/12/05/supersized-industrial-3d-printing-in-metal/

I am sure they are very expensive , but hopefully in near future it may be possible to email your 3d CAD drawings and get something printed in metal or other materials for a fee.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 05:16 PM
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So is this something you could veneer? Who wants plastic speakers?
I know Jay Leno has a 3D printer. He bought it from a company my friend works for in Minneapolis.
He uses it for car parts that can't be bought anymore...like stuff for his really old rare cars.
Adam Carrolla has talked about having him do stuff for him before.
I would agree 3D printing is very exciting on a lot of fronts.
I don't understand it all, but like i mentioned earlier....I don't want speakers built entirely out of plastic.

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post #10 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Iris, pioneers in Giclee printing, have a 3D system that uses paper pulp. The detail and precision is amazing and it is full-color. It might not be MDF but it points to a future where wood-based 3D printing is an option. http://blog.ponoko.com/2012/12/01/new-paper-based-iris-3d-printer-to-be-used-in-new-staples-3d-printing-service/
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So is this something you could veneer? Who wants plastic speakers?
I know Jay Leno has a 3D printer. He bought it from a company my friend works for in Minneapolis.
He uses it for car parts that can't be bought anymore...like stuff for his really old rare cars.
Adam Carrolla has talked about having him do stuff for him before.
I would agree 3D printing is very exciting on a lot of fronts.
I don't understand it all, but like i mentioned earlier....I don't want speakers built entirely out of plastic.

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post #11 of 24 Old 01-25-2013, 07:45 PM
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Would a speaker that was made from a 3d printer be strong enough to withstand a sub backwave?

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post #12 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post

I wonder how expensive it will be to do? Hopefully not as expensive as a milling machine.

Leaving aside CNC programming costs, which would alone would make CNC more costly, the costs are inverse in the sense that with CNC you pay for the material you start with plus how much you remove, with 3D printing (dunno about the new paper one), you pay for the net volume of material you end up with.
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Would a speaker that was made from a 3d printer be strong enough to withstand a sub backwave?

Probably; max pressures in sealed/ported are a few tenths of a psi, though quite a bit higher in bass horns.

Noah
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-27-2013, 07:13 PM
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I found this video that explains the 3d print process for metal...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=i6Px6RSL9Ac

Denon 4520ci, 3 JBL 2360As/EV DHA-1s, 3 1/4 Pie bass bins, MiniDSP 2x4s, 4 Klipsch HIPs, 2 Klipsch KP3002s, PS3, XBox 360, 3 Intel NUCs, Monoprice Redmere, Monster HTPS7000, 2 SUPER SPUD subs, Panasonic AE8000u, 2 Danley DTS10 subs, & Yamaha P7000s.
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And here they actually make a bike...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hmxjLpu2BvY

Denon 4520ci, 3 JBL 2360As/EV DHA-1s, 3 1/4 Pie bass bins, MiniDSP 2x4s, 4 Klipsch HIPs, 2 Klipsch KP3002s, PS3, XBox 360, 3 Intel NUCs, Monoprice Redmere, Monster HTPS7000, 2 SUPER SPUD subs, Panasonic AE8000u, 2 Danley DTS10 subs, & Yamaha P7000s.
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Engadget just published a 3D printer roundup with MSRP (or Kickstarter Contribution) and 'working area' listed. http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/29/3d-printer-guide/#continued

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post #16 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 03:33 PM
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Think I'm going to buy a 3D printer, print a 3D printer with it and sell it. BOOM free 3D printer.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-29-2013, 06:38 PM
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Think I'm going to buy a 3D printer, print a 3D printer with it and sell it. BOOM free 3D printer.

ROFL.....

Can you print one for me too after you get your free one?

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I don't see why not! lol

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I don't see why not! lol

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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Leaving aside CNC programming costs, which would alone would make CNC more costly, the costs are inverse in the sense that with CNC you pay for the material you start with plus how much you remove, with 3D printing (dunno about the new paper one), you pay for the net volume of material you end up with.
.

Hmmm. I like the way you think. That had never occurred to me.

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post #21 of 24 Old 02-22-2013, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMonMan View Post

Think I'm going to buy a 3D printer, print a 3D printer with it and sell it. BOOM free 3D printer.

nice.

Panasonic P60ST50-Yamaha RX-V467 receiver-Sony PS3-Velodyne SMS-1-Canton 430 mains, 455 center and 402 surrounds-Rythmik FV15HP subwoofer- Pro-ject Debut III turntable- I also have a pair of Mark K's DIY design, the ER18DXT's
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1417652/midwest...
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post #22 of 24 Old 03-04-2013, 01:15 PM
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Our company recently acquired a (DMLS) Direct Metal Laser Sintering Machine (3D metal printing) our build envelope is approximately a 12" cube. No info on our website yet but I am happy to quote 3D metal printing from 3D CAD Files. www.acrotool.com
info@acrotool.com
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post #23 of 24 Old 07-12-2013, 06:42 AM
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A desktop speaker that is (almost) completely 3D printed.

http://www.geek.com/news/designer-3d-prints-a-desktop-speaker-in-9-hours-1561800/
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A Nice Radio Station with Great Music. For Those That Like That Sort of Thing: RadioParadise.com

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post #24 of 24 Old 07-12-2013, 07:46 AM
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3D printing has been applied to many fields.
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