Introduction: Retro TV Phone Holder With Speakers
I like to use Netflix as a distraction every time I do menial and manual job like sanding, washing dishes or organising, basically activities that I do on autopilot. Problem is, the only portable device I can use is my phone, since dragging my laptop around is too much work. After one too many phone calls interrupting my movie time, I stared using an old phone, but I couldn't find a decent phone stand, plus that particular phone has damaged speakers. I decided to make a 70s inspired phone case with a build in Bluetooth speaker. It's portable, stands without wobbling and looks weird, which is a huge plus for me. Here's how it's done.
- 3D printer
- sanding paper, craft knife, pliers
- filler, primer
- superglue, strong plastic glue, glue gun
- acrylic paint, brushes, spray on silver paint
- two bamboo skewers, two small beads
- matt varnish (I used a pinch of talcum powder mixed with regular varnish to get matt effect)
- small amount of salt, cement or plaster of Paris to weigh the legs down (see step 6)
- Bluetooth speaker (store bough and small enough to fit your design or self-assembled from parts)
Step 1: STL Files
I'm attaching stl files, but they would have to be adjusted to fit other phones.
Start by designing all parts. Pay special attention to measurements. Measure, measure and measure to fit everything together. Have some fun with details like buttons, speaker grate, antenna etc. Legs are optional, will work without them just fine.
Quality of the print depends on your patience and printer type. I don't have the patience to sand for hours, so I simply printed mine in 0.2 layer height instead of 0.1 and used a filler putty to cover imperfections.
My temporary brain malfunction and subsequent design flaw:
You might have noticed there is a small square near the speaker hole. I made it so I could charge the phone and keep it in the case at the same time. I spent almost two hours figuring out how to connect the phone to the charger, measured where the connector should be located, I even printed prototypes… All that and I haven’t figured out the best and simplest solution- turn the phone 180 degrees and connect the charger through the opening. Two hours of my life gone and the only thing I achieved is a new level of embarrassment. I’m only mentioning it because I didn’t remove that bit from the STL file and you might wonder what it’s for.
Step 2: Cleaning
I printed with supports, so there was a bit of cleaning to do. Use pliers to remove supports, craft knife to cut all loose bits and 40&80 grit sanding paper to smooth it roughly.
Step 3: Filler
Using a combination of filler putty https://www.amazon.co.uk/Revell-Plasto-Putty-Model..., spray on filler and sanding paper I made sure the surface is as smooth as possible. If you prefer, you can just sand it smooth, starting from 80 grit all the way to 360 grit. I followed that by applying one layer of fast drying primer.
Step 4: Painting and Varnishing
Two layers of good quality, thick and opaque acrylic paint was enough to achieve desired colour. Once dry I applied one layer of water based varnish mixed with a pinch of talcum powder to make the surface matt. Use matt varnish if you have it, I couldn't fine one.
Step 5: Bits and Pieces
Paint all additional pieces (legs included) with a spray on silver paint. I used two bamboo skewers, super glue and some random beads I had laying around to make an antenna .
Step 6: Legs
Legs are optional, but if you want them, make sure they are printed hollow so you can fill them with salt in order to weigh them down and not have the whole case tip over. Instead of salt, you can fill the cavities with plaster of Paris or a small batch of cement.
Use strong, fast drying plastic glue to affix the legs to the body.
Step 7: Speakers
Here is a link to a YouTube video I used to wire this particular Bluetooth speaker. I actually wired mine years ago and had it laying around with no purpose, so I simply used it to spare myself buying another kit. It’s simple and cheap, although my speaker isn’t the best quality, it’s good enough for watching movies.
My speaker was already half wired and for some reason I previously added a single LED to the mix. I decided to keep it and incorporate it into the design. I printed the case with a small hole, but then completely forgot about it and covered the hole with filler. I only remembered when I started wiring the speakers, so I had to use a drill to uncover the hole. I used hot glue to secure the LED into position and to act as a diffusor since this particular LED was way too bright for human eyes.
Step 8: Details
Use super glue to attach bits at the front, and epoxy or strong plastic glue to attach the antenna.
Last step, not shown in the picture, is covering the back. I traced the outline of the back onto a piece of cardboard, cut it and glued it to the back.
Step 9: Finished
Runner Up in the