Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Make Your Own Set of 3D Printed Egg Speakers For Less Than $150

ST Medical Devices

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Heine Nielsen, a 37-year-old maker from Denmark who goes by the name dr_frost_dk on Thingiverse, is always up for trying out “totally untested” projects. After spending two decades building amps and speakers, Nielsen decided to try out 3D printing last year and see if it would be a good way to make an enclosure for audio speakers.

We’ve definitely seen plenty of 3D printed speakers before, along with headphones, earbuds, and other audio equipment, like CD players and mics. After Nielsen saw how strong some of the 3D printed parts were that his friend had made, he was inspired to give it a shot with a fun pair of 3D printed audiophile egg speakers. He told 3DPrint.com that he has been developing this project “for about a year.”

In an article for Make: in its Projects section, Nielsen explained that this easy DIY project, which does require basic soldering skills, only takes 1-3 hours and $51-$150 to complete.

Heine Nielsen

“The result: A pair of good-looking speakers that truly sound great, with no sharp corners to impede airflow inside the cabinet. The “egg” has always been one of the holy grails of cabinets in the hi-fi world, but they’re hard to make in a conventional way. Now it’s much easier with 3D printing,” Nielsen wrote.

“I learned a lot about using infill settings to create an air gap between the inner and outer walls. This helps a lot — instead of just having solid plastic, the air gap dampens the pressure from inside, so the outer wall has less resonance. Material and wall thickness have the biggest effect on holding in the sound pressure, so you get more sound pressure in the listening room.

“It’s been a long process in getting the ratios “right” but I’m so amazed at the sound coming from such small speakers.”

You can find STL files for 3″, 4″, and 5″ egg speakers on Nielsen’s Thingiverse. The directions for the project vary a little, depending on which size you go with.

In the article, Nielsen explains step by step how to complete this project, starting with cleaning up your 3D printed egg speakers “so they look their best” and then drilling two 5 mm holes in the back of the egg for the speaker wire connection.

“It’s tricky to print these so they fit perfectly,” Nielsen said about why the eggs weren’t 3D printed with the holes already added.

Next, 3.5 mm threads need to be tapped for the speaker mounting holes, so the plastic won’t separate when the speakers are screwed in. MDM-5 foam should be placed around the speaker hole, while 10 mm foam should go behind the bass port.

You’ll need to solder two female gold bullet connectors to one end of the speaker cable, then glue them into the back of the egg from the inside – just be careful not to mix up the polarity.

“This step is a bit fiddly, so do some dry runs,” Nielsen said.

Once you’ve connected your speaker to the bare end of the wire, put on the ring and screw it in, before gluing the feet, which Nielsen 3D printed out of Ninjaflex, to the bottom of the enclosure.

Then, you will repeat the entire process for the second speaker. Once both speakers are finished, connect them to an amplifier and enjoy!

“I’m very happy with the result — it sounds better than any other cabinet I’ve ever had in this size,” Nielsen said.

His original low-poly model had a little difficulty with even wall infill-thickness, so he created a high-poly model as well.

Nielsen said, “For my next build I’m printing these transparent, and adding WS2812B LEDs so they’ll fill the room with sound and also with every kind of light and color pattern you can think of!”

What do you think of this project? Will you try it yourself? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

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