3D Printing a Smartphone Speaker

My projet has to do with how 3D printed objects can be used as devices for education. Making speakers is a tangible and engaging way for students to come to terms with how sound propagates. I found the following 3D printed design on Thingiverse which I’ve talked about before.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.01.38 pm

Created by OrigamiCats on Thingiverse


While the ‘speaker’ phone is a great way to connect with the old turntables of old, you can see a 3D printed object like this might be the culmination of a series of lessons where the ideas of sound are unpacked over a series of lessons.

  • How does sound propagate?
  • Can you draw how you think the sound moves from the smartphone, through your tube and to your ear?
  • Can you design your own speaker?
  • How does the material used influence how sound propagates?
  • What are the limitations of your design?

Getting the students to design the speaker via regular pen and paper would be a good place to start and once the students have a design they are comfortable with, they could then jump onto a 3D graphics program to design their own speaker.

You could then use a device to measure the differences in sound output, to see which device worked best. Have you used 3D printing for anything like this?