Introduction: Passive Smartphone Amplifier Assignment
Many students are using Tinkercad as part of their distance learning experience, so I decided to make an assignment with Tinkercad 3D to teach students to use 3D modeling to solve problems. Almost everybody has a smartphone these days and use it to complete everyday tasks. Many people use their smartphone to listen to music but the big problem that smartphones have is that their speakers are not loud enough for you to be able to hear your smartphone from the other side of the room.
My assignment is to create passive amplifiers for smartphones, so that you can hear the sounds coming from your smartphone better.
I gave this assignment to a group of volunteer students to find a solution to amplify the sound coming out of a smartphone only with Tinkercad. To help them I explained how a passive amplifier works and showed them how to use Tinkercad.
I posted in this instructable some of the best designs that were given by the students. Hope you enjoy !
To complete the assignment you will need an access to Tinkercad, and eventually a 3D printer if you want to have a physical copy of the passive amplifiers.
Tinkercad website: https://www.tinkercad.com/
Step 1: Smartphone Template
I went ahead and found a template of a smartphone in the Tinkercad gallery so that the students could insert a smartphone in their design, to give them an idea of the final design. Since there are not many smartphone templates in the Tinkercad gallery, I found an iPhone 5s template.
Of course this assignment is not only limited to passive amplifiers for the iPhone 5s, you can use your own smartphone model. If you can find a template of your smartphone in the Tinkercad gallery, I recommend you using it so that you can visualize your passive amplifier. If your smartphone model is not in the Tinkercad gallery you can create your own by simply measuring your smartphone, and making a rectangular prism that will represent it.
Be careful when completing the assignment, to know exactly where your smartphone speaker is. For the iPhone 5s it is located in the bottom right corner, but for other smartphones it may be in a different spot.
Step 2: How a Passive Amplifier Works
A passive amplifier also known as a mechanical amplifier is a device which makes the sound more directional with the help of a bell shape. A passive amplifier works just like a megaphone or trumpet, the shape is designed to transmit into the air as much energy as possible. The bell shape is used to reflect the sound waves in one direction, so that when you are in front of the passive amplifier we can hear loudly and clearly the sound.The wider the bell shape is, the better you can hear the sound, but when you change the diameter of the bell you will also make the sound mellower of sharper.
If a passive amplifier is designed properly it can make your music sound at least 50% louder if you are in front it.
Step 3: Key Chain Passive Amplifier
This is the first design that was made with my assignment. The design consist of a compact passive amplifier where you slide in your smartphone. In the design the student inserted a key chain hole so that the user can have it on his keys. Unfortunately this design is was specially designed around the iPhone 5s, but it is still compatible with smartphones with the speaker in the bottom right corner and that are less than 10 mm thick.
Of course you can copy the design and modify it so that it can fit on your smartphone!
Step 4: Passive Amplifier
This is the second design that was made with my assignment. The design consist of a smartphone base with an integrated passive amplifier. In the design the student made a tunnel that links the bottom of the smartphone with a large cave that should amplify the sound coming out of the smartphone. The student that made the design so that all smartphones with the speakers on the bottom and that are thinner than 10 mm would be compatible with this passive amplifier.
Step 5: Horn Passive Amplifier
This is the third design that was made with my assignment. In the design the student made a bell shape in front of the smartphone stand that is linked to the bottom of the smartphone.This design should amplify the sound coming out of the smartphone. The student that made the design so that all smartphones with the speakers on the bottom and that are thinner than 10 mm would be compatible with this passive amplifier.
Step 6: Hexagonal Passive Amplifier
This is the fourth design that was made with my assignment. In the design the student made a hexagonal shaped passive amplifier where you slide in your smartphone through a slot in the back of the passive amplifier. The student that made the design so that all smartphones with the speakers on the bottom and that fits through the slot is compatible with this passive amplifier. This is a very minimalist design that would use up little plastic if it were 3D printed since it is very thin.
Step 7: Passive Phone Case Amplifier
This is the fifth design that was made with my assignment. In this design the student copied a phone case from the gallery and kept only the end of the case. The student added a bowl on the end of the case so that it would amplify the sound by changing the sound's direction so that it is facing the user. This design should amplify the sound coming out of the smartphone. Unfortunately this design is was specially designed around the iPhone
5s, and is only compatible with smartphones with the exact same shape as the iPhone 5s (iPhone 5, iPhone SE)
Step 8: 3D Printing
If you are interested in printing the designs made with this assignment, here are the files. Of course you are welcome to modify these files the way you want!
Step 9: Conclusion
I'm not sure if I was clear enough in explaining this assignment, but I think the photos will help. Also if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Suggestions and corrections are appreciated. I hope you will enjoy this Passive Amplifier assignment.
If you do the assignment, it would be great if you shared your designs!
Second Prize in the
Distance Learning with Tinkercad Contest