Introduction: Easy Chladni Plate Music Visualizer

Picture of Easy Chladni Plate Music Visualizer

In this instructable, I will be making a Chladni plate, a plate mounted on a speaker that can convey the vibrations of the speaker to sand or other aggregate.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials

  1. Wooden dowels (I used 1cm wide dowels but they can be any size, but not larger than 5cm)
  2. Scrap metal plate (It has to be smooth)
  3. Large Speaker 1x
  4. scrap plywood, or plastic
  5. screws
  6. Audio source
  7. 3.5 mm audio cable
  8. Audio Amplifier
  9. Wood Glue

In keeping with the Trash to Treasure contest aspects of my Chladni Plate, my materials were sourced from a radio (speaker), a box of mandarin oranges (wood) A Playstation 3 (plastic), and a disk drive (scrap metal)

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools
  1. Scroll saw or any thing that can cut wood
  2. drill w/drill bits
  3. a screwdriver that can fit your screws
  4. tin snips
  5. Hot glue gun and sticks

Step 3: Cut Some Layers

First, trace the shape of your speaker onto the plywood, then cut it out using a scroll saw. Repeat this 2 more time until you have 3 pieces of plywood as big as your speaker.

After that, trace the speaker's outline onto the piece of flat metal, then use your tin snips to cut it out.

And then, cut a piece of plywood 3cm x 3cm .

Step 4: Cut the Dowels

Next, measure your speaker from bottom to top. Cut 12 dowels to that length, and one 2cm taller that the others.

Step 5: Bottom Part of the Speaker Assembly

Picture of Bottom Part of the Speaker Assembly

Take one of the plywood layers, and drill pilot holes in the spaces inward of all 4 corners and through the middle of all the dowels. Put dowels on top, then screw them in.

Step 6: Make the Speaker Assembly

Picture of Make the Speaker Assembly

Place your plywood and dowel assembly on a stable workspace. Place another one of the speaker sized pieces of plywood on it and use the dowels as a guide to drill pilot holes for the screws, but don't screw it in.

Put the speaker on the aforementioned piece of plywood that you traced with the speaker, and, using the mounting holes as a guide, drill pilot holes for screws.

Flip the speaker so that it is upright,then put dowels under the mounting holes and the plywood layer under it. After, unscrew the very bottom and add long screws under the plywood into the dowel, through the mounting holes and into another set of dowels.

Step 7: The Top of the Speaker Assembly

Picture of The Top of the Speaker Assembly

To make the top of the speaker assembly, take the last of the pieces of plywood, and drill a hole in the middle that can accomodate the longer dowel so that it can move freely. The size will vary with the size of the dowel. Then, line it up on top of the top 4 dowels, and drill pilot holes through the plywood and the dowels for screws.

Step 8: The Plate and Connection

Picture of The Plate and Connection

Finally, we can come to the final part of installing the Chladni plate itself. Take the longer dowel and use wood glue to secure it to the 3cm x 3cm square of plywood, and let dry. Next, drill a pilot hole for a screw through the center of the scrap metal plate, and into the dowel, but don't screw it in yet. Hot glue the 3cm x3cm plywood square and the dowel to the middle of the speaker, with the dowel facing up. Make sure the dowel is aligned with the hole in the middle of the top piece of plywood from the previous step.

Then, screw the top piece of plywood on to the dowels and attach the plate.

Step 9: Audio

Next, prepare your audio source (ie. MP3 player, smartphone,ect.). Use the 3.5mm audio cable to connect the audio source to the audio amplifier. Then attach the wires from the speaker to the amplifier, and add some fine sand on top of the metal plate. Play the audio at a high level of volume.

You can now visualize the sound waves from your audio source with sand!

This is a great conversation starter and display project for your coffee table!

Step 10: Inspiration

Picture of Inspiration

I did not come with this concept myself. I got this idea from one of Make: magazine's videos.

Here is the link to their video: Chladni Plate Video

Thank you for watching and make sure to vote for me in the Trash To Treasure, Epilog VIII, and Make Noise contests.

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