Introduction: Acrylic Dodecahedron Speaker With Sound Reactive LED's
Hi, My name is Charlie Schlager. I am 15 years old, attending the Fessenden School in Massachusetts. This speaker is a very fun build for any DIYer looking for a cool project. I built this speaker primarily in the Fessenden innovation lab located on our campus. If you would like to see this space there's a twitter account @FessyiLab. This speaker can hung from the ceiling so to keep the tables clear. This speaker is built off of two other projects; A Dodecahedron Speaker for Desktop Printers and Sputnik 17 - 4 inch speakers. The two creators of these projects deserve partial credit for my version. This speaker took about 16 hours in total to build and wire. It is a great project to complete over the course of a week.
Ok so now for the instructions, I'm going to start of by listing the materials and tools required for this build. A laser cutter is very helpful for this project in cutting each face, but it is possible to cut the parts with a jigsaw. This build in total cost about $550, but can be made for much less if you buy cheaper speakers. I chose to buy expensive speakers to maximize the crisp sound this speaker delivers, but any 4" speaker would work, you may have to adjust the amplifier as well to fit the power needs of the speakers.
Also, I would like to add that this is my second version of the speaker, the first version was 3d printed and wired with 3" speakers that costs $2.00, so the sound quality wasn't great, but the speaker worked and looked amazing. I also installed LED's to that speaker. You can watch the videos of that above.
I plan on uploading videos of my version 2.0 Acrylic Dodecahedron Speaker later next month, as well as completed pictures of the speakers.
- (12) Speakers $299.94
- (3) 12" by 24" sheets of Acrylic (Any Hardware Store)
- (36) 1/4" by 1" Bolts (Any Hardware Store)
- (36) 1/4" Nuts (Any Hardware Store)
- (1) LED Strip $15.99
- (1) Arduino Uno $12.99
- (1) Sound Impact Sensor $12.95
- (1) Solid Core Wire $7.95**Speaker Wire is Better, I just didn't have any in the shop**
- (1) Amplifier with Built in Bluetooth $99.90
- (1) Acrylic Cement $8.61
- Laser Cutter **If one is not available you can use a jigsaw or try to find a company to cut you the parts**
- Soldering Iron
- Wire Stripers/Cutters
Step 1: Cutting Speaker Enclosure
I have linked the file for the speaker face. If you have a laser cutter, you can upload the .svg file and copy and paste it so that their are four separate faces cut from each piece of acrylic. The settings i used to cut the acrylic was Speed:25 / Power:50. If a laser cutter isn't available you can download the file and print it out. Then you can trace it onto the acrylic 4 times and cut carefully with a jigsaw. Once all 12 speaker faces are cut, it is important to tape them all together to insure their are no miss cut faces.
Step 2: Mounting Speakers
Now you will need to take your speakers and mark the mounting holes with a marker on the speaker faces that you just cut because we are using nuts and bolts, not screws. Once you have marked all the holes on the speaker faces, you need to drill them out with a 5/32" router drill bit. Once you have all of the holes drilled you now need to mount each speaker by dropping it through the hole so that the mounting hole built into the speaker is on the outside of the face. Now Place the speaker face cover (if you used the same speakers as me) over the face and screw the nuts and bolts in. **Make sure to not screw them too tight or the acrylic speaker face will bend and possible break.** Once all Speakers are mounted and secure, it is time to start wiring.
Step 3: Wiring Speakers
Since we are using 12 speakers, we are going to be wiring them in parallel so that the can connect to a single channel amplifier. For wiring you are going to need (3) 7" White Wires, (3) 7" Red Wires, (9) 3" Red Wires **If you only have one color wire that is fine, the colors are just for organizational purposes.** Connect the (3) 7" White Wires to 3 different speakers negative terminals. Now connect the (9) 3" Red Wires to the remaining 9 speakers negative terminals. Now take the (3) 7" Red Wires and connect them to 3 separate speakers positive terminals that already have a 3" wire connected to the negative terminal. Once you have everything planned out and connected solder the connections in place.
Step 4: Wiring LED's
Now that you have your speakers wired, it's time too wire you LED's. **This step is for aesthetics and does not change the speaker quality in any way, besides how it looks.** For this step you need to get out your LED Strip, your arduino, your wires, and your sound impact sensor. Now you need to take the 4 wires that are on the end of the LED strip and soldier another wire to each on about 3" long. Once you have all 4 wires soldered connect the wires to the arduino based on the picture above. One everything is connect plug your arduino into the computer and run the arduino software if you already have it and if not you can download it from arduinos website. Once you have the application open, download the linked file above and open it. Now copy and paste the code into the arduino application Now verify it by clicking the little check button in the upper left hand corner. Now click the arrow on the top of the window to upload it to your arduino. Once the code is uploaded plug in your arduino with the all power source and it should be sound reactive! For now you can leave these aside until we need to put them inside the speaker.
Step 6: Building the Enclosure
Now you are going to need all 12 speaker faces. Take out the acrylic cement. Tape 2 clusters of 6 piece each together so that the faces are all aligned and touching. Now glue every part of each face n the inside of the speaker until you have 2 clusters of 6 speaker faces all glued together. Now you are going to finish wiring each speaker with the diagram I provided earlier. Once each speaker is wired together you are going to install the LED's and Amplifier. Connect your speakers to the amplifier. Now, place your arduino LED structure inside the speaker and leave the power cable hanging out. Now you need to line one of the clusters remaining faces with cement and place the other cluster on top until everything is cemented together and all you have are the wires hanging out. You have now successfully complete your speaker. Plug both cords into an outlet and blast your favorite tunes!
**These are pictures from my first version because during my pictures from the second build got lost when the memory card got lost. Both Speakers are wired the same way so hopefully these pictures help, but if you need any help please feel free to comment or message me with your questions.**
Step 7: Future Changes
This project was amazing and my speaker turned out amazing, but there are somethings that I am working on to improve and hope to share with you later on this spring. The first thing I am trying to improve is the possible places to put the speaker. I have tested hanging it, but cannot give advice on hanging considering my first attempt failed result in some broken parts. Another thing I am working on is a more economical system. Another thing I am trying to fix is building the AMP in to the speaker so that the speaker is all you see. These are just a glimpse of what I plan to do in Dodecahedron Speaker 3.0! I hope you enjoyed this instructables and are happy with your new speaker. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.