This project was a demonstration of the potential of 3D printers to create high-fidelity, finished products. We wanted to create something that could only be created by means of additive manufacturing. The ultimate goal was to create a functional, consumer-ready piece that took advantage of the strengths of 3D printing. This project was also an exploration in the role of digital design tools in the 3D printing world, and how we could combine digital tools in new ways to create unique objects.

Here is a quick video that captures our motivations for doing this project:

The project was recently featured by Wired.com
Check out the full article:

They were also featured with an article and video on Engadget:

Check out the full article here:

You can also check out the first test with the finished speakers and audio reactive LEDs:

We used an Objet Connex 500 by Stratasys due to it's extremely high resolution and its multi-material printing capabilities.

Design Team:
Maurice Conti - Concept and Design
Evan Atherton - Design and Engineering
Arthur Harsuvanakit - Technical Consultant

In this Instructable, I will try to share the process of making these one-of-a-kind speakers.

*Note: for this project, we used an off-the-shelf speaker driver. The exact speaker can be found here:

Step 1: Creating the Model

These speakers are composed of two components that are 3D printed simultaneously:
1. Flexible rubber base (Objet TangoBlackPlus)
2. Clear crystal-like protrusions (Objet VeroClear)

The clear crystals are held in place by the black rubber base, which gives the lights that cool pixelated effect.

To create the crystal form, I used Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013, and its powerful Topology toolbox. The steps in 3ds Max are as follows:

1. Create a polygonal sphere from the standard primitives box. Use a sufficient number of segments, but not too many
2. Convert the sphere to an editable polygon with the Edit Poly modifier
3. Ensure that you have edges selected in the Edit Poly Mode box on the right hand side
4. In the Polygon Modeling drop-down of the Graphite Modeling Tools, select "Generate Topology"
5. In the pop-out menu, select "Edge Direction" (or whicheverpattern you happen to like!)
6. In the Edit Poly Mode box, select polygons. Right click in the workspace and select the box next to "Extrude"
7. In the pop-out menu, change the extrude mode to "By Polygon"
8. Extrude all of the faces a sufficient distance.
9. Export your creation as a .STL (StereoLitho) file
<p>From a speaker design standpoint, its a rather boring closed ball. Technically, the rubber base cavities could help disperse internal resonant frequencies, but its a pointless effort with such a small cone area driver. Also, they have to take much care to make the box airtight. Lots of contact points and small nooks can let tiny amounts of air to escape, diminishing the overall efficency of the enclosure. Concluding from this, these &quot;speakers&quot; are designed to show the capabilities of the printer. Also, in the audio reactivity test, its clear that the tiny drivers do not work in this enclosure. Listening to the lower frequency response, it's clear they made a poor choice with the driver. The ratio between cone area and linear excursion is way off for this type of enclosure. They make an interesting lamp, for sure. But a shitty pair of speakers. These would work great with FE103e drivers in the ball and a down-firing 6,5-8&quot; woofer in a cylindrical box underneath... </p>
@Boot Cheese. That's funny if Dizingof left because HIS designs were stolen. He immediately stole my design and started spamming all over my postings, which is why I chose not to upload an STL. <br><br>I apologize for not responding to more comments, I wasn't getting notified about new comments for some reason and didn't check that often. <br><br>To answer your question from before, we did put wool inside and that made them sound pretty good, but that's all we did for insulation. I hope that's what you were referring to?
<p>Wool? Really? Very interesting...............<br>I was wondering what would work, I figured anything solid would obstruct the view of the lights.<br>As far as Dzingof I didn't know anything about him jacking your design and spamming you and all, if that's true then it's unfortunate, dude is a very talented sacred geometric artist. <br>Hmmm...........you didn't get a message telling you someone commented here? I didn't realize until NOW that you responded. Wonder what the deal is, they usually are on top of sending you a message about these things.............<br>Ok now that I know what you used I'll try and make some of my own when I have the time from my busy job. Thank you for responding.</p>
<p>Yeah the LEDs are glued right up against the inside of the case, and then the insulation is inside that layer so it doesn't obstruct the lights :)</p><p>Must be some mynocks chewing on the power cables :-P </p>
<p>Ok so that's how it's done. When you explain it like that you make it sound so simple and me so stupid. XD If I don't get a 3D Printing machine I'll have one custom-made. I have software besides Autodesk that works on a laptop so I'm sure I'll cre8 my own cabinets.<br><br>Thanks for responding.</p>
<p>Can you upload a STL file for the round ones I didn't see it if you posted</p>
<p>This guy won't help, he seems to ignore alot of questions asked. I asked if these speakers need insulation like regular ones and still no response, that was last year when he dropped this. This guy might be able to help, he made the same design off of his home unit:</p><p><a href="http://www.ponoko.com/showroom/Dizingof/profile" rel="nofollow">http://www.ponoko.com/showroom/Dizingof/profile</a></p><p>I noticed thingverse has pissed some people off because nobody has alot of their files up anymore. I'm sure you heard about the story...........</p>
<p>Yeah that sounds jerkish of him and the thingverse thing sucks but honestly I have never heard of thingverse</p>
Is there any way to have the stl file for FDM printers? I'd really love to try printing this on a low-cost printer but the files on thingiverse are not available any more. Are the files on Ponoko suitable for a FDM printer? Thanks!
<p>This guy has made some off of his home system, he used to be a member of thingverse before he had his designs stolen by the company and another 3D printing manufacturer:</p><p><a href="http://www.ponoko.com/showroom/Dizingof/profile" rel="nofollow">http://www.ponoko.com/showroom/Dizingof/profile</a></p><p>He might be able to answer your questions pretty quickly, this guy has a problem with getting back to people on their questions. Hope it helps.</p>
great job and thanks for the open file
Is there any way to have the stl file for FDM printers? I'd really love to try printing this on a low-cost printer but the files on thingiverse are not available any more. Are the files on Ponoko suitable for a FDM printer? Thanks!
are these available to buy? <br>if they are where are they being sold? <br>
One word sums this up.....WOW!!!! I would love to have a set of these. They are stunning.
I've posted the design file (STL) for free in my shop: <br>http://www.3dizingof.com <br> <br>Enjoy <br>Dizingof
Do these require insulation for soundproofing or not?
holy shite, wow
I designed this cool enclosure for use on a REGULAR home 3D printer <br>Download it for free from my thingiverse.com account: <br>http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:69452 <br> <br>Enjoy, <br>3Dizingof.com <br>
I figuired out how to load this .stl file, but the 3d printer site scaled it down to 10% and while about 95% of the &quot;diamond shapes&quot; are okay, some look broken by their &quot;corrections&quot;. How can I shrink this by 90% or would you be able to help with this part?
I made this design for personal home 3d printers that have the capability to 3d print at this size. <br>Note: i designed the enclosure for a 4&quot; Speaker so downscaling it or upscaling it will affect the Speaker opening..where you mount the speaker. <br> <br>Use a home 3d printer + natural (clear/transparent) PLA filament. <br> <br> <br>Dizingof <br>www.thingiverse.com/dizingof - Over 170 Free designs for your 3d printer. <br>www.3Dizingof.com <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>
I'm going to pick up some clear PLA in my next order. So I can try printing this on my Mendel90. <br> <br>Oh FYI, I think they're using 3&quot; drivers for the speakers. As one of the posts above mentions this URL: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=264-902
Thank you. What program do you run this in? I've modeled 3D objects before, so I'm not totally lost.
What drivers did you use in these spherical speakers? Are they a 2-way? The center appears to be a tweeter.
I was mistaken about them being dayton audio (we used DA for another set we did) For this pair we used these drivers from Tang Band: <br> <br>http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=264-902 <br> <br>
They're Dayton audio (if I remember correctly) and they are 2-way :D
plz sir can u send me the scheme of circut lights that u connected with music
Ohh my gosh!! Just PERFECT! Congratulations for the excelent job!
you should have some space between box and 3D print, its going to mess with the speakers resonance D: really sweet though. amazing idea.
That is amazing, smart and beautiful!
The look GORGEOUS and exploring the possibilities of new materials and processes is always a good thing, but WOW that's expensive! <br> <br>All the same, thanks for sharing your project, it's fascinating. <br> <br>I bet that office of yours gets crowded with all those 3d printing things... I could offer these speakers a caring and comfortable home... ;-P <br>
Would you sell them or make one for me? How much? :)
Wow... cool
How much would that printing cost (sphere for example)?
Each sphere cost around $1200 in print material. The material for the Objet machine is on the more expensive end. We probably could've knocked that down a bit though
Take my money now!!! Lol freaking awesome! Also great song! Love PANTyRAiD!!
cool looking speakers man, sweet job
I am gob smacked at the beauty of these orbs. The speaker part is irrelevant to me but they are so beautiful. I want one.
Just curious what's the music that's playing in the video?
It's called Headcase, by pantyraid
One day I am going to get a 3D printer and then never buy anything else again. Except more 3d printer supplies...
This is wild ...I work in commercial electronics ...and love LED lighting . You have an amazing product ; very creative ! <br>Build_it_Bob
Wow, that's cool.
Come on - this is ridiculous as an instructable. Who could actually make this?
Amazing! I love this!
Avoid adverts and make some &quot;real&quot; Instructables? I'm sorry, this is not the spirit of this portal.
Step 1. Buy a $150,000 3D printer.
seems to be more like an advertisement for lumigeek, not sure it really belongs on instructables. i didnt learn anything, nor can i replicate any of it with my diy equipment.
Kickstarter right now !! <br>(please...)

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am currently working in the Office of the CTO at Autodesk in San Francisco experimenting with new technologies as they relate to digital design
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