Sep 17, 2016 | By Andre

There is something about retro themed technology that seems to have universal appeal. Whether its cassette or vinyl players to sometimes trending calculator watches, the old often finds a way back in with the new.

A recent projectable tutorial on how to 3D print a custom walkie talkie proves that modern technology can very closely resemble the popular generations old comm pieces.

Starting out as a project for Daniel Chote’s kids, his walkie talkie set is run by a Raspberry Pi, has USB speakers, 3D printed parts and other electronic gadgetry. This fact already disqualifies it as a traditional Walkie Talkie, which relies on two-way radio signals, but that doesn’t mean it’s not really cool even still.

Also just because the technology under the hood is different, that doesn’t mean it’s simple “push to talk” interface can't bring out the same excitement that a regular walkie talkie set would. I doubt Mr. Chote’s kids notice that Mumble, an open source voice communication protocol designed for gamers is driving the hardware.

And if you want to make your own, the tutorial is detailed enough to do so once you source the proper parts and 3D print the necessary case files. Adafruit is said to have the listed parts and from my estimation you are looking at around $65 all in.

The 3D print files were designed in Autodesk’s Fusion360 and printed using PLA plastic with 100% infill to ensure a strong and ultimately suitable for the unpredictable nature of children. With this in mind, a far less infill would also get the job done with similar results so an expected time on a 3D printer ranges from anywhere between 5 and 8 hours from what I see.

The bulk of the tutorial once all the components are sourced involves detailed instructions on where and what to solder, how to set up the LEDs, heatsinks, attach the speakerphone and ultimately fit everything into the 3D printed walkie-talkie shell. Much of the instruction set includes details on what and what not to do during wiring and how to best fit everything into the case without making a clutter of a mess.

In the end the revamped walkie-talkie is a really cool weekend project that might just help you be recognized as parent of the year by your child. Also for Daniel Chote, the brains behind the project, he’s already onto his next smaller version and hopes to have it ready and prototyped within the next few weeks.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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