Battery holderSpeaker held tightly in placeDerivate speaker design

Click an image see a larger version; more photos are on Flickr.

Variations

Left: audioJar by Sarah Pease. Right: owl speakers by Jon Moeller.

Fab Speakers

These portable speakers are made from laser-cut wood, fabric, veneer, and electronics. They are powered by three AAA batteries and compatible with any standard audio jack (e.g. on an iPhone, iPod, or laptop).

The speakers are an experiment in open-source hardware applied to consumer electronics. By making their original design files freely available online, in a way that's easy for others to modify, I hope to encourage people to make and modify them. In particular, I'd love to see changes or additions that I didn't think about and to have those changes shared publicly for others to use or continue to modify. The speakers have been designed to be relatively simple and cheap in the hopes of facilitating their production by others.

Design Files

Structure: fab-speakers.svg (Inkscape), fab-speakers-structure.pdf
Eagle: fab-speakers.brd, fab-speakers.sch
Bill of Materials (BOM): fab-speakers-bom.pdf
Schematic: fab-speakers-schematic.pdf
Gerbers: fab-speakers-gerbers.zip

Materials (Electronics)

Circuit Board (PCB): on OSH Park: $23.10 (for three boards) + shipping
Electronic Components: from Digi-Key (see bill-of-materials), $17.93 + shipping
Speaker Wire: from RadioShack, $5.69 + shipping

Materials (Other)

You can order the laser cut parts on Ponoko (click "add to personal factory") for $19.53 + shipping. Or cut them yourself from 1/4" or 6 mm plywood. Use 1 9/16" (or 1 1/2") birch veneer w/ iron-on adhesive (e.g. from Rockler for $9.69 + shipping). Pick whatever fabric you like.

Tools

You'll need a soldering iron, wire strippers, sandpaper, a hammer, and an iron (if using iron-on veneer edging) or wood glue (for other veneer).

Make

For instructions on putting together the Fab Speakers, download the instruction booklet (PDF). If you have questions, check out the DIY Devices Forum. It's a (nascent) community for people building the fab speakers and other devices. (Note that new user registrations have to be manually approved. If you're having trouble, please email me at mellis@media.mit.edu.)

Also, see these photo sets on Flickr: soldering the electronic components and assembling the speakers.

Wall-Mounted Variation

As shown in one of the photos to the left, there's also a wall-mounted, oval-shaped variation on the design. It uses the same circuit board, but combines both speakers into a single unit that can hang on a nail or screw in the wall. You'll want to replace the batteries with a 5V power supply (included in the bill of materials); just cut off the connector and solder the wires directly into the + and - holes for the battery holder. You'll also want to omit the power switch and just solder together the holes where it would have gone.

Download: fab-speakers-oval.svg