3D Printed Wood vs. Plastic

Well here it is – my 3D printed wooden phone amplifier fresh from i.Materialise, which won their 3D printed wood challenge! Now it’s time to have your say:

Which sounds better? 3D printed wood, or 3D printed ABS plastic?

On first impressions it’s definitely a fragile material, a bit like something between MDF timber and an egg carton. The graininess can be rubbed off like sand, and you can already see one of the dots in the ‘i’ has broken off. But it smells really nice, I just can’t quite put my finger on what it reminds me of. But definitely very wood-like.

150716 3D Print Wood

For those wanting to print one yourself, the plastic version is freely available for you to download from my Thingiverse or Pinshape profiles. This wooden one is slightly different to meet the requirements of the printing process, but I may add this to the i.Materialise shop very soon so you too can enjoy the natural sounds of timber.

– Posted by James Novak

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Winner – 3D Printed Wooden Amplifier

150704 Phone Amp

It was a while ago now that I first 3D printed a phone amplifier and stand, sharing my design on Thingiverse (see the original design and video here). Well after seeing i.Materialise’s new wood material, and a competition to launch it, I just had to bring it back! What could be more cool than a 3D printed wooden amplifier, mixing the old-school with the new-school?

It did take some work to modify the original design to meet the criteria of the wood material, including thicker wall sections and more exaggerated details, and you can see the render I submitted above on the right. The final print from i.Materialise on the left looks awesome, I’m looking forward to hearing it play music when it arrives – I’ll have to post a video comparing the sound of the wood vs. plastic versions, so watch this space.

See the full i.Materialise article, along with the other winning designs here.

– Posted by James Novak

3D Printed Doof Doof! (Phone Amplifier)

I’ve always been fascinated with the way putting your phone into a cup or bowl can suddenly improve the sound quality and volume. Even a simple cardboard tube will work (check out this video if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Being a bit sick of having no real spot for my phone on my desk, I thought it was a good time to have a go at 3D printing something that would both hold my phone and improve the sound when I’m playing music or just when a call/text comes in. Yes it’s been done by many others, but of course I want my own unique design!

The above video is the outcome of about 4 hours of printing on an ‘Up! Plus 2‘ 3D printer (0.2mm layer thickness, <10 degree support), showing how little support material was required and that it works straight off the printer. I swapped filament colours part way through printing to create the multi-coloured effect, following on from my last post.

In the video you’ll notice the phone doesn’t really sit in place properly – I forgot to add a little rib to stop it sliding forward. However I have since glued a small piece of scrap in place, and updated the STL file to provide this feature (photos on Thingiverse). Of course I have shared this design for FREE on Thingiverse so you can print one for yourself, just click here to visit the page. As always if you make one I’d love to hear about, please share comments/photos either here or through Thingiverse.

– Posted by James Novak