IPhone Boombox




About: Student at University of Oregon Studying Industrial Design and Business triestdesign@gmail.com

The following project will show you how to take 3D Solidwork's renderings and 2D Illustrator files and create a minimalist iPhone boombox. The boombox is my design and creation. Originally for a production class, I designed and created the boombox in an attempt to design, render and create using computer programs. Other goals of the object were to hide witness marks and create a minimalist and retro design. Please feel free to contact me with questions or with photos of the boombox you create using my Instructable, especially if you use different materials or components.

If you like the design and the way I took the idea from computer to reality please vote for me in the Make It Real competition!


This Instructable is for the the Make It Real competition. Thanks to the judges for giving me the opportunity to continue design. Winning a 3D printer while still in school would allow me to do incredible thing like rapid prototyping, form studies and so much more.

Thank you for viewing and voting!

Step 1: Step 1: Materials


1/2 inch MDF (Board Atleast 14 x 12)
1/4 inch MDF (Board Atleast 14 x 12)
1/4 inch Clear Acrylic
5/8 inch Dowel

1/2 inch Cloth Elastic Band

Mini Rocker Switch
5mm LED
AAA Battery Pack
Altec Lansing IMT227 OrbitM Speaker
Electrical Wire
1/4w 62 OHM Resister

Where to Purchase the Speaker:


Step 2: Step 2: Tools


Laser Cutter
CNC Router
Soldering Iron
Hand Router
5/8 inch Drill Bit
Wire Cutters

Step 3: Step 3: Cut MDF

Download the 3D Solidwork's files that I have uploaded. Send the files to a CNC Router. Cut out front and back panels. Cutting out extra's will allow room for error or the opportunity  to make multiples.

This is your chance to experiment with other materials, I'd love to see some of these in fine woods!

Step 4: Step 4: Cut Acrylic and MDF

Download the Adobe Illustrator files I have uploaded. Using a laser cutter, cut out the acrylic middle insert and the two 1/4 inch MDF inserts.

Step 5: Step 5: Cut Dowels, Dowel Holes and Speaker Well

Line up the acrylic middle so that you can drill holes into the MDF for pegs. Drill 4 holes on each MDF panel. Be as accurate as possible so that the panels line up correctly. Cut your dowel into 1/2 inch pegs that will fit into the holes. Fit panels together so that you can use a hand router to cutout a well into the back panel for additional speaker space.

Step 6: Step 6: Finalize MDF Insert

Finalize the MDF insert by wrapping your cloth elastic band over the cutout and using a small amount of epoxy on the sides.

Step 7: Step 7: Wire Speaker and Lights

Begin to take apart your Altec Lansing speaker. Be very careful during this step, this is the life of your object and you don't want to end up buying more than you need like I did. You will be discarding most of the casing but be careful as you remove the faceplate. Additional screws can be accessed through the bottom of the speaker. You will most likely need a hex key and a small screwdriver. DO NOT LET THE AUXILIARY WIRE GET CUT. Be carefull when getting the speaker out!

Included in the images is the part of the case you will need as well as what the speaker looks like. You will be wiring in parallel so that all components receive equal amounts of power. Below is  website for learning how to wire in parallel.


Be sure to wire slowly and have a good understanding of how to do it before you start to solder everything. TEST, it's important. I didn't know anything about how to wire the parts together so i started by setting up one LED light, then adding a switch, then more LED lights and eventually the speaker.

Step 8: Step 8: Sand, Glue and Stain (Optional)

Depending on the CNC router you used and how careful you were during construction you may need to do some finishing work on your speaker. I painted the speaker cap white for a nice plain detail. You can further protect your MDF panels by taking them off and coating them with a clear staining agent. If you used a wood besides MDF then play around with other stains and protective agents.

You are also going to want to glue the speaker to it's cap from the inside and glue the speaker plate to the bottom panel of MDF. This will secure your speaker and reduce rattling.

While the pegs hold the panels together nicely you may want to use a little glue and clamp the panels together over night. You wont have access to the inside anymore so make sure everything is strongly secured, wired and soldered inside if you do this!

Step 9: Step 9: Enjoy!

If you just made it, show that thing off!



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    29 Discussions


    3 years ago

    could you make a circuit diagram of this for me?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Cool suggestion. Hook those LED's to a "tip31" power Transistor with the Base Lead connected to the audio in, and have sound reacted LEDS.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    wow guy! this project is awesome! i just love it! continue doing things like this one! just one word: AMAZING!


    Awesome project, I would just like to know how it looks from the back and also how is it all held together

    Thank you


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Would it be possible to alter/adjust the instructions in order to accommodate for the new dimensions of the iPhone 5 or the new iPod touch, as well as potential stereo output?

    Use a router with a guide or router table.  
    The tables are available at all price points.  More expensive = better accuracy.  If you're not going to use a table, I'd suggest a plunge router or work from the outer edge in.

    You can route the MDF and the Acrylic as well. Depending on your aesthetic preferences you might like to use MDO instead of MDF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_density_overlay_panel

    f you choose to, you could replace the MDF with acrylic.  Getting a clean acrylic edge is as simple as buffing with a felt or cotton wheel and rouge both of which are available in any decent hardware store.

    There's really no trick to it just have some pieces to practice on first, some patience and a willingness to endure a few failures at the outset.  If it works the first time you haven't learned anything so there's that solace.

    MTriestcurious youth

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You can download the plans, scale them properly and maybe use a ban saw to cut out the inserts. Let me know


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! Would be really neat if the LED pulsed to the sound output. Really wish I had access to a laser cutter...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You should've went the full mile on this idea. The iphone dock isn't very nice to look at. You could've hard mounted the 3.5 headphone jack for starters and made an actual dock that holds the phone snug instead of that elastic band. Also. since you're using batteries on this for the LED. You should've went ahead and added a second speaker and transistors for amplified sound.

    Rebuild it with some better ideas.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Really neat Idea.. Excellent execution. Brilliant. Any reason you did not make it Stereo???


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome instructable. It would be great to add a dock connecter and an extra power pack to charge your iPhone. Hmmm, might just have to try that myself! I might even add solar power, and a USB recharge and a sealed plexiglass face to keep the sand out and to create the ultimate beach boom box. Brilliant.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I did not see your Instructable in the Make It Real challenge to vote for it. Is it there and I just missed it?

    Great project and well documented in this Instructable. I assume you got a good grade in your class!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It has not been accepted yet, and i also havn't gotten a grade back yet, hopefully soon, thanks for trying, check back soon!