A Dodecahedron Speaker for Desktop Printers

by seanmichaelragan, published

A Dodecahedron Speaker for Desktop Printers by seanmichaelragan Jun 4, 2012

Featured Thing!

6 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

67217Views 7816Downloads Found in Audio


A dodecahedron speaker can be a useful tool in acoustics research, and is definitely a fun toy to pull out at parties. They are available commercially, but pretty expensive. Some people build their own, but the odd compound angles and the high degree of accuracy and precision required in the parts make for challenging work with manual tools. It's a perfect job for a 3D printer. Total cost for parts and materials is just under $100. That includes speakers, hardware, wires, cable, plastic filament - everything.

January 16, 2015

I recently made my original SketchUp files for these parts publicly available at this link:


These may be useful to anyone who wants to adapt the design to their own equipment.


The high symmetry of the dodecahedron is amenable to a modular design, and this one consists of four basic parts: the face modules, the vertex plugs, the edge gaskets, and the bezels. The speaker grilles are made from hardware store window screen cloth installed in the bezels using rubber spline and a screen roller tool, just like a residential window screen.

The assembled speaker array weighs 5.6 lbs, not counting the cable, and measures 7.5" across, from face to face, and 8.6" from point to point. The speakers are wired in a hybrid series-parallel circuit that brings the total array impedance to about 10 ohms (again not counting the cable) which should be a comfortable load for most amplifiers.

Non-printed parts ("vitamins")

  1. 12 pcs × speaker, square, ferrite 3", 8 Ohm, 3W, Jameco SP83W
  2. 10 ft × instrument patch cable, 18 AWG leads, such as Conquest Sound CS118
  3. 30 pcs × sex bolt (hehehe), combo truss head, zinc plated, 3/16" barrel, #6-32 × 3/8", Bolt Depot 14285
  4. 30 pcs × machine screw, combo truss head, zinc plated, #6-32 × 1/2", Bolt Depot 2887
  5. 60 pcs × split washer, #10, zinc plated, Bolt Depot 3023
  6. 108 pcs × wood screw, #4 × 1/4", black oxide or finish of your choice, such as McFeely's 0402-PSK
  7. 13 ft × screen spline, vinyl serrated, 1/8", black or color of your choice, such as Home Depot 3028737
  8. 3 sq ft × window screen, black or color of your choice, such as Home Depot 3003947
  9. 36 in × hook-up wire, stranded, 18AWG, white or color of your choice, such as NTE
  10. 18 in × hook-up wire, stranded, 18AWG, red or color of your choice, such as NTE
  11. 2 pcs × craft foam, adhesive-backed, 8.5 × 5.5" sheet, black or color of your choice, such as Fibre Craft
  12. 2 pcs × wire nut, orange, such as Ideal 73B
  13. 1 cu ft × glass wool, such as Owens Corning PINK
  14. 6 in × electrical tape

Detailed assembly instructions available here:


More from Audio

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

3D Print a wide range of designs with Treatstock. Easy to use tools to get the perfect result. The global 3D printing network that connects you with high-quality and fast working print services nea...

App Info Launch App

I finally got mine built! Now the question becomes... Where do you hang these... Are they supposed to be towards the center of a room or right on your desk like a normal speaker? Any issues with slight echo from being near a wall?


I'll get pics posted in a bit

Good question. My instinct is that they ought to have as much open space as possible. Echoes are going to be imperceptible at indoor distances; "resonance" might be a better way to describe the effect.

This was a fun and interesting build =) Thank you


A Dodecahedron Speaker for Desktop Printers

You're welcome! Your version looks great!

I so want to make this - what a great design!

How long did it take you to print a full set? I just threw the "Face module" at my slicer (Cura) and it told me it would be some 6 hours with current settings (set for a reasonable quality print rather going for speed) - would that be about right?

That's about right, yes. I basically printed one module every day while I was working, popping out to the garage every so often to check on it.

Any chance there are replacement/alternate part numbers since those speakers are discontinued?

I'm sorry, no. I haven't had time to figure this out. I would advise you to try eBay; the components market there has an extremely long tail. Just because you can't buy them new anymore doesn't mean they're not for sale.

Hi people! I have a Printrbot Simple which has a print area of about 100 mm x 100 mm and it's not large enough for the bezels. Any idea how to print them in smaller pieces?

Hello! Thanks for your comment. I designed these parts originally using SketchUp, and the SketchUp files are available in the Trimble 3D Warehouse here:


They may be useful to you in adapting the design to your specific needs.

Thank you! I was wondering if someone had already done this and had a working solution/3d model but I'm ok with designing it myself. If I do it I'll try to remember to comment here.

Printed a couple of these. They're great; yet to assemble. Used about 1.5kg of filament.

Hey there! Soooo, I totally want to make one of these to cruise up and down the Venice Beach boardwalk. I downloaded the four files, submitted them to Shapeways, and a single cutout, for example, is $53.00!!! This means just the shell of the speaker would cost over 500 bucks? Is this accurate and typical of 3D printing costs? Or is there a better solution? Thanks for any guidance.

Be better off just going and buying a printer.

So I don't suppose you'd be ok with my just sending these to shapeways or similar? I'm looking at combining your speakers with a raspberry pi that allows me to sling these around with a big battery case and the PI to catch the music over WiFi. Perhaps modifying NTPv2.0 so that I can calculate delay and add in delay to the music to avoid amplifying out of phase audio. I'm looking at doing a couple dozen so that I can amp up a large open area but without needing to use massive speaker stacks.

Go for it! I'd only ask that you share pictures of your results, online or elsewhere, and let me know when they're posted at [email protected] Thanks for asking, though. Would love to hear about anything you build using these files.

These look amazing. Unfortunetly I don't have a 3d printer. Would you be willing to sell a preassembled set for a fee? Thanks

Thanks very much! Though the printing is automatic, there is in fact a lot of time and energy involved printing a set of these parts on my equipment--not least of which is that I'd have to get the printer set up and working again! Point being I'd have to price them pretty steeply. I intend to make these models available through my Shapeways store, but they'll be pretty expensive through there, too, unless I (or somebody) takes the time to hollow them out so you don't end up paying for a lot of powder volume you don't really need.

I guess the short answer is: Sorry, I don't see that happening right now. You should feel free to download these models and contract with whomever you like to print them, however; they are CC licensed and I don't need any money if you want to print them. Attribution and sharealike are required, however--click on the license icon for more info.

can you print the mesh?

Wondered about that. Would be difficult, and not very durable compared to windowscreen, I expect. But I didn't experiment at all. You should.

hmm maybe ill make some hexagonal grills.

i just ordered some surplus ipod speakers, i think they are about 2 inches, so im going to scale this down. they have these chrome dust covers and i was thinking i might use the dish to distort a laser based on the sound.

Great job! I think I would use cladding silicone instead of gaskets for durability, adhesion and stretch tolerance. It also absorbs vibrations better.

Great tutorial and great idea, i'm making one!!!

Only one question, as i haven't any experience in this kind of speakers: HOW DOES THIS SOUNDS???

i mean the speakers are quite small....

Thanks! :-D

Get those speakers with titanium or aluminium weave cones. They are heavy and sound awesome. I ripped off mine from my old creative gaming speakers.

Excellent work. This whoops my monitor speaker mount that just failed to print properly. Have had much success using dense cushion foam as sound deadening material in test chambers. Usefully fireproof too =-X

"dodecaquadraphonic sound." Sounds awesome. Thanks for the great design.

Nice job! I particularly like the grills-nice detail that leavs the speakers looking polished. Thats one of the things we found most challenging in our laser cut dodecahedron speaker - in the end we went for that classic minimalist look! http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:21272http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Sputnik 17 - 4 inch speakers

Thanks, and great to hear from you. I am quite aware of your Sputnik 17 project. I have followed the Thingiverse RSS feed religiously for years, or at least I did until I decided to enter this silly Instructables contest, and then every awesome thing that came up on T-verse started to undermine my confidence: surely my precious dodec speaker concept could never beat THAT. Your thing #21272 was the straw that broke the camel's back, and I stopped reading the feed for the sake of my own rapidly fraying nerves. Your design is easier to make than mine and includes a generator script so you can make various sizes and aren't locked in to using a particular speaker model. This is something I wanted to do, but didn't really have the time to figure out with my limited OpenSCAD skills. I was sure you were going to enter Sputnik 17 in the Make It Real challenge and kick my ass with it. It looks, now, like you didn't, as I far as I've been able to tell, for which I am very grateful. And even if you did, and I missed it, the deadline has passed, it's out of my hands, and I'm happy to let things shake out as they will over on Instructables. And I can go back to enjoying the T-verse RSS feed and finally say to you what I wanted to say when I first saw your project: Beautiful work!

Thanks for the kind words, although you are too modest! Very nice work and great use of color.