Everyone wants an awesome set of speaker to listen to their favorite playlist.. In this instructable you are going to learn to make you very own portable speakers using 3D printing and Wood filament.
The best part about using wood filament over the other filaments to make your speakers is that you can give it that rustic look as you see in the pictures above, by using some post processing techniques which you would normaly use on wood as shown in the video below,
- like sanding using a power tool like Dremel and sand paper
- Staining with a wood stains(here as you see in the video below, we can use 2 stains for that rustic look )
- and finishing with an epoxy for a smooth finish..
Since, the speaker is battery powered, using a Lipo battery and a charging circuit as shown in the picture below, so you can take the speakers out an about to park/beach and enjoy your music on the go..
Step 1: Things You'll Need to Build and Finish the Speaker
Here are thing you will need to complete the rustic speaker
- 3D Printer - in my case i am using Flashforge Creator Pro
- Wood filament 1.75 mm - i am using wood fill from Digitmakers.ca (https://digitmakers.ca/product/3d-printer-wood-fil...) and i have also tried this method on ColorFabb wood fill which came in one you their sample packs with assorted filaments.
- Power tool like Dremel to help with sanding bit
- Sand paper 180 grit
- Wood Stains - you will have to expirement and choose you color combination (go with one dark and one light)
- Epoxy - im case i am using Zpoxy -30 mins
Electronic components you will need
- Adafruit Mini Lipo w/Mini-B USB Jack(https://www.adafruit.com/products/1905) or you can use the micro charges as well
- Lipo battery - (https://www.adafruit.com/products/2011) I am using 25000mAh
- Stereo 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier - MAX98306 (https://www.adafruit.com/products/987)
- Bread-boarding wire to solder
- SPDT mini toggle Switch ON -OF- ON(https://www.creatroninc.com/product/spdt-mini-togg...)
- Soldering Iron and solder
Step 2: 3D Print the STL Files Using Wood Filament
Here are the STL files if you are interested in following along or just want to make your own version of the speakers.
Download the STL files attached and using 3D printing software slice and 3D print the files.
Here are suggested slicer setting if you are using the same wood filament for all STL files
- Layer height 0.3mm (you can drop this down to 0.2 , i am pretty impatient !! and print with 0.3 mm layer height, and as part of the next step we are going to sand the print down , so 0.3mm height should be just fine)
- Infill - 40 % (here a suggestion would be to go with a higher infill, since will be sanding the part down)
- Nozzle Temperature - 200-210 C
3D printing the parts took me about 5 hours, but could differ in your case based on your printer setting and type.
For printing, i am using Digitmakers.ca wood filament which you can find/buy at
Step 3: Sanding and More.... Sanding
Let me warn you this hardest part of the instructable, if you don't enjoying sanding, like me..
Muster up all the patience you have ! and wear you protective eye glasses..
To make it quick and save time, you can use a power tool like Dremel tool with the sanding bit as shown in the picture.
Once you are done with the Dremel , use sand paper to finish ,I my case i am using 180 grit sand paper.
Step 4: Soldering and Add the Electronic Components to the Base
It is now time to take a break from sanding and solder the electronic components together, so fire up your soldering iron..
Start by soldering bread-boarding wire to the speaker terminals
Cut off one end of of female to female jumper and then solder to GND pin on Adafruit Mini Lipo w/Mini-B USB Jack. Then connect the BAT pin to one end of the switch using using bread boarding wire and the other end to female jumper wire.
Now cut the end of your audio cable and connect 2 female jumper wires to the white line and one wire to Left side and the other to the right side.
And then connect negative wire from the Mini Lipo w/Mini-B USB Jack to GND and the positive wire to VDD, as shown in the picture above.
For more info and to solder pins to the Class D amplifier refer to guide on the Adafruits learning system, Here remember to solder the pins in the opposite direction, compared to what is shown in the guide for easy mounting on the 3D printed part.
Once you are done with the connections, screw down the speaker in the blue terminal blocks
Now connect the lipo battery and turn on the speakers and connect the audio jack to the phone to test it out..
Also test that your lipo is charging and wait for the lipo to completely charge.
Step 5: Applying Stain - I Am Going for the Rustic Look
Now once your done with sanding, another advantage of using wood filament is that you will be able to stain your 3D printed part to give it that rustic wooden look.
Here it is time for you to experiment choose a couple of stains from your local hardware store.
In my case I used a dark stain - Minwax's Dark Walnut (https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.wood-finish---d...)
And after about 8 hour, used lighter stain - Minwax's Colinal maple (https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.wood-finish---c...)
You will have to leave the 3D printed part to dry for atleast anther 8 hours, before you move to the next step
Step 6: Finishing Off With Epoxy
Now to give the 3D printed part a nice and smooth finish and if you plan use your speaker outdoors make the speaker semi-water proof applying a epoxy.
Here I found Zpoxy 30 minutes solution is ideal for the job and adheres nicely to the stained 3D printed part.Mix equal part of the resin and hardener as shown in the video above.
In addition, you can use Rustoleum's Painter touch - clear gloss version, you will need to apply at-least 3 coats of the spray and have a drying period of atleast 4-5 hours between coats.
Note:On an earlier model with the same wood filament , I tried and Gorilla Epoxy, the one that comes in the sringes and found that it pealed of the 3D printed part in a couple of days.
In addition, you will to experiment with the epoxy that you will get at your hardware store, my advise would be use a epoxy which has a larger work time ,like the Zpoxy which i used which has a work time of atlest 30 mins.
Step 7: Add the Electonics and Glue the Parts Together
Now add the speak guards to the 3D printed part and then hot glue the speaker to the base part as shown in the picture above.
Add the switch and hot glue the battery to the base part, also add tape to the battery to safe guard the battery.
Now screw the Adafruit Mini Lipo w/Mini-B USB Jack to the top 3D printed part as shown in the picture above, using 4-40X3/4 screws.
Add the screw the amplifier to the base 3D printed part.
Now flip the switch and test your circuit before
Step 8: Enjoy Your Portable Speakers
Congratulation ! if you have mad it to this step, it is now time to get cup of iced tea and head out the park with your friends to show them you very own custom portable speakers ..
And when you back home , charge your speaker using wall outlet, there is an led indicator on the back of the speaker as shown in the second picture above, which turn green to show that your set of speaker are fully charged..