Acrylic Dodecahedron Speaker With Sound Reactive LED's




Introduction: Acrylic Dodecahedron Speaker With Sound Reactive LED's

About: Hi, I am Charlie and I love to build stuff. Whether it was what my mom called destroy ing the vacuum cleaner and turning it into a paper towel gun or hacking my toys over the years, I have taught myself almo...

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.

Materials List:

Tools List:

  • 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
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • 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 5:

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.



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    17 Discussions

    is there a way where i can replace the sensor with 3.5mm audio jack port??

    1 reply

    Yes, but it would required a completely different circuit setup. I am not familiar with the setup you would use (sorry), but you deffinetly will find tons of ways if you just search sound reactive LED's on instructables and go through a couple a different tutorials. If you can't find it, let me know I will look into and find something for you.

    hey can u share the code that u used for ur final version of the speaker?

    1 reply

    Yes, sorry for the late reply, been super busy! Which code are you talking about in specific, the sound reactive LED code?

    There's really no reason to spend $300 on speakers, part-express has tons of high quality speakers for significantly less money than what you paid. The shape of your enclosure will actually degrade the quality of the sound from the speakers so putting in $50 drivers is just a waste.

    2 replies

    First off I spent 300 dollars on speakers because I was funded with 550 dollars and only spent 250 on materials, so I left myself 300 to spend on speakers. I am also aware that parts express sells good speakers, I used them for my first model. You are also wrong that the shape of the enclosure degrades the sound quality. The sound quality is only degraded if the speakers aren't synced, but in my version they are in perfect harmony due to the way I wired te circuit. Also even if you do save money, 50$ drives will always be better than 10$ drives, so they're is reason to spend 50$ per driver.

    The sound quality is severly degraded if there isn't enough free air inside your box. Which is what I was getting at, you can have the speakers in phase and still maintain quality but that's not what what I was talking about. $300 is just very steep for drivers

    I'm sorry if I sounded mean I was just puzzled by the price this is REALY a cool speaker set up and I'm sure it sounds like a high quality speaker faved like this verry much

    2 replies

    Yes, 550 was a very high price, but my school was willing to back me after seeing my first version. Remember though, with cheaper speakers you could make this for around 300 if not 275.

    also, i no way was your comment mean, it was a very true problem that I encountered when first planning this idea

    this is a very cool design! beautiful to look at!

    The wiring is very smart.. At first I though it couldn't work, but then I realized that making 3 parallel series of 4 4ohm speakers each, you end up with a 5.3ohm load.

    Those car speakers are designed to sound very loud, but they need current. Your amp needs to provide a huge amount of current to make them sound good (with nice bass and loud volume): be careful not to fry it!

    Maybe you could improve performance a little by wiring 2 parallel series of 3 loudspeakers each, on 2 stereo channels. That would be a 6ohm load per channel, so you would need a little less current, AND the current would be split on the two channels, making the amp work much lighter. I am no expert, but if my prevision is correct they should sound better in this configuration, given the same amp.

    If you put an amplifier inside, make sure it does not overheat!!

    2 replies

    Wow, that was super helpful. You definitely seem to know what you are doing. I am going to try and wire it to how you said and post my results later next month. I never thought of wiring that way. That is super helpful. Also for the over heating problem if the amp was inside, I was thinking of installing a fan of some sort to make sure the heat is controlled. Thank you so much for your feedback, I can't wait to test that wiring strategy.

    I'm glad to help!
    I quickly drew this scheme for you, as to avoid any confusion on what I meant (because a wrong wiring could damage the amp or even the loudspeakers)

    a quiet PC fan should be enough if you have a 12V source


    By the way this is a helpful and well put together keep up the good work

    Cool but 550? USD? How did u get those funds at 15 I'm 14 and it took me months to save up for a 400 3d printer