Maxing iPad Loudness with 3D Printing

Whilst Apple’s iDevices are designed to require a relatively low requirement of vital ‘hidden-cost’ add-on peripherals — in part because of the vast amount of non-vital paraphernalia that Apple propagated as a culture of personalisation to express individualism in a milieu of iPhone ubiquity — they are designed to require an external speaker. The lack of maxed audio has been irritating Max Freeman of Geomagic Solutions for a while…

With about an hour free between meetings Max was surrounded by 3D printers at the 3D Systems Geomagic office in North Carolina and decided to challenge himself to design and print a solution in only that brief window.

Design is 3D Systems’ Geomagic’s core CAD software. With an arsenal of measurements from Apple he fired out the first prototype of a small attachment that fits over the speaker area to redirect the sound forward. Whilst experience of course provided a huge boost to the process it took a mere 25 minutes to complete the design. Max then saved it as an .STL and ran it through the Cube software and went over to start a print.

The first design prototype was 3D printed in 45 minutes. Max then put the design to the test, he found that his design did indeed make the audio ‘much louder.’ However, the design meant it would slip off too easily from the iDevice of Max’s choice: his iPad. As per the usual prototyping process he moved on to prototype number two to resolve this design problem. … (Read more)