Introduction: 3D-Printed Speakers

Picture of 3D-Printed Speakers

Upgrade your desk with these modular 3D-printed speakers! While the rest of the office jams with their plain black and silver sound cubes, you'll be listening in style from your very own custom set. With only a handful of simple parts, you'll be able assemble or tear down these speakers in minutes. There's no need for a fancy, high-end 3D printer to make these, just a simple desktop model and a handful of dowel rods and you're nearly there.

Step 1: Parts and Materials

Picture of Parts and Materials

(2x) speaker (RadioShack #: 55076557) web only and sold in pairs

amplifier (RadioShack #: 55065111) web only

stereo to dual phono cable (RadioShack #: 42-494)

3D printer filament (RadioShack #: 277-237)

20' x 1/4" square dowel rod

(16x) M3 x 20mm screw

(16x) M3 lock nut

Step 2: Design Overview

Picture of Design Overview

Like many of my hardware projects, I created a reasonably detailed 3D model to help work out my design. I wanted the case to work for multiple speaker sizes, so I settled on a modular design vaguely inspired by space frame supports. After measuring and modeling the speaker I had chosen, I began to sketch out different joints that could accommodate different speakers. Using dowel rods as the support structure, I was able to create a design that could easily be extended. I'm satisfied with the "hollow" design, despite it lacking the resonance that enclosed speaker cases use to naturally amplify sound.

Step 3: Assembly: Print Parts

Picture of Assembly: Print Parts

Each speaker consists of 21 individual printed parts. These are as follows:

(8x) corner sockets

(5x) cross brace sockets

(4x) speaker clip bases

(4x) speaker clip tops

We'll need a set for each speaker, so send it on over to your 3D printer before bed and you should have a set by the time you wake up!

Step 4: Assembly: Prepare Dowels

Picture of Assembly: Prepare Dowels

For each speaker we'll also need to cut the dowels for the frame. This particular design is based around quarter inch square rods. Measure and cut the following per speaker:

(12x) 3.375 inch edge rods

(20x) 3.125 inch cross rods

(4x) 1 inch speaker clip rods

Step 5: Assembly: Building the Frame

Picture of Assembly: Building the Frame

Grab the 3D joints and your bundle of cut down dowel rods and lay them on a flat surface.

Lay out four 3D corners and with four edge pieces, four cross brace pieces, and a 3D cross brace in the middle.

Slide two edge pieces and a cross brace piece into the bottom slots of two 3D printed corners.

Slide two more cross brace pieces into the 3D cross brace.

Slide the two remaining 3D corners into the assemblies to complete the back face.

Stick four edge pieces into the the vertical holes of the 3D corners.

Create four cross brace assemblies with the remaining 3D cross brace pieces and rods.

Pop the the cross brace assemblies into the 45° holes in the back face assembly. You'll need to bend the rods slightly to make them fit.

Create a square face assembly with the remaining 3D corners and edge rods.

Place the square assembly onto the previous assembly one corner at a time, this will require more bending, but everything should snap into place.

Pop the four mini rods into the 45° holes in the open face.

Slide the bottom clip pieces onto the mini rods.

Step 6: Assembly: Mount Speaker

Picture of Assembly: Mount Speaker

Lay the speaker over the clips along the edge.

Take the clip tops and slide the machine screws through each.

Slide the clip tops over the speaker and tighten until the speaker is snugly fastened.

Step 7: Assembly: Wire Electronics

Picture of Assembly: Wire Electronics

Slide the quick connect clips of the amplifier onto the proper tabs of the speakers.

Pop the speaker connection (Green and Grey wires) into the amplifier.

Clip and strip the power connector from the wall power supply.

Solder the red and orange (control wire) to the positive output of the power supply.

Solder the amplifier black wire to the negative output of the power supply.

Plug in the dual phono to stereo cable to the amplifier.

Step 8: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Your speakers are all ready to go! Plug in to your music player of choice and relax in satisfaction with your new 3D-printed speakers.


Depechemodian (author)2014-10-14

A speaker without box loses up to 75% power.

Polymorph (author)Depechemodian2014-10-18

An unboxed, unbaffled speaker loses nearly all the bass. A speaker run without a box will also hit the limits of travel on the bass notes and be damaged at what may seem like modest volume levels.

ac-dc (author)Depechemodian2014-10-16

I could live with the efficiency loss but not the acoustic tragedy, or the pain in cleaning dust off, or that it will probably rattle itself apart if used for more than moderate volume levels.

Overall it's a great example of "just because you can do something that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea."

Aleator777 (author)Depechemodian2014-10-14

I'm aware. This is a decorative case.

pfred2 (author)Aleator7772014-10-14

Repeat after me, form follows function.

anthony gutierrez (author)2017-05-01


JoeS122 (author)2016-07-06

also encase the back of the speaker in pvc tube or cap packed with insulation and sealed with silicone and base will come back along with form

JoeS122 (author)2016-07-06

makes an excellent frame for an underwater synchro speaker

oakironworker (author)2015-02-01

Look great and thanks for sharing. Disregard the crybabies it was obvious to anyone with a brain that these would not have great sound quality. yet people think they need to point out the obvious. I am going to turn this into a class project


Deepakjuneja (author)2015-01-21


tyc012 (author)2014-10-14

So nice! Is the resonance also good in open structure?

Aleator777 (author)tyc0122014-10-14

The resonance is lost, but I made this just for the design.

And a good job of it! Sure, not a 'proper' speaker enclosure, but it's a pretty nice frame, well executed and novel - not just another mini-cube desk speaker. You've done nice work here and I appreciate your effort and sharing. Keep creating!

leadzeplin (author)2014-10-22


leadzeplin (author)2014-10-22


leadzeplin (author)2014-10-22


lfoss (author)2014-10-16

The Instructable title is a bit misleading. You didn't actually 3D print any speakers. The title in the YouTube video, "3D Printed Speaker Case" seems more appropriate.

joejoetheclown (author)2014-10-16

Nice work! When I was experimenting with small full-range speakers during my AiR residency I discovered that it was very easy to make Fusion 360 compute the volume of a hollowed object... If you wanted to make an additional piece to get some of the bass response back it would be easy to model a hollow cube that holds with the aesthetics of your cool design and just bolts onto the back of the speaker surround or the top clips. For a 4" speaker you only need about 32in^3 of volume for a sealed enclosure so it wouldn't muck with the clean design of your enclosure, and it would thump more and be easier on your amplifiers.

Thanks JoeJoe, definitely something to look into!

Donegan (author)2014-10-16

I don't see a 3D printed speaker, but I do see a 3D printed speaker enclosure/mount

I am quibbling but there is a difference!

mriev (author)2014-10-16

To me, that is not a case, it's merely a support. It does not separate the speakers' back radiation from the front radiation, resulting in phase cancellation and lack of bass response. Speakers need to be in a sealed or ported enclosure to have good bass response. This "case" may be different looking, but acoustically, it's useless! You might as well just have a raw speaker laying on your desk.

bigflash1 (author)2014-10-16

This is an awesome idea! Growing up with tinker toys and erector sets, this takes me way back...

For all those folks out there that point out the need for an enclosure, maybe add something cool inside? Looks like you have plenty of room for something creative!

Again, awesome idea

carmien (author)2014-10-16

It's pretty but you have no idea what you are doing in terms of actual speaker design. Having it in free space like that guarentees no low fequencies. You might want to look here:

Nice to look at though.......

baecker03 (author)2014-10-16

parts express. com has a good selection of parts. it's hard on the speaker to run it this way. there are several other ways to design enclosures. you can get away with a smaller enclosure if you use an enclosure such as those designed for car speakers.

MartinL5 (author)2014-10-15

A speaker without box loses up to more 75% power. Acoustic short circuit!

ShakeTheFuture (author)2014-10-15

Nice. I can't wait to try 3D printing, but it's aint gonna happen soon as I don't have a space for it :)

karlpinturr (author)2014-10-15

They do look nice, but if you covered them in acrylic/Plexiglass, you'd keep the look AND have some of the power/resonance back.

Porda (author)2014-10-14

Great looking speakers! It looks like there are a lot of cool directions you can go with this design.

Aleator777 (author)Porda2014-10-14

Thanks! Yeah, with a couple different joint pieces, you could really make a lot of different shapes!

fred3655 (author)2014-10-14

I heard speakers don't work as well without a complete enclosure. Sorry, didn't want to be left out :) The wood could be stained, painted, or even decorated with seasonal decor. Spider webs with a big spider for Halloween, for example.

Raitis (author)2014-10-14

They sure look good! Corners would look even better cast from concrete.

The question I have is how's the sound? Don't the speakers benefit from full cases? I don't know that stuff, so just wondering.

Aleator777 (author)Raitis2014-10-14

The sound is pretty nice. The resonance is lost, so the volume doesn't max out, but I built these as a decorative desk set, not for 5.1 surround sound haha.

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is DJ and I previously made electronic whatsits, 3D-printed thingamabobs, and laser-cut kajiggers for the Instructables Design Studio; now I build and repair ... More »
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