Jan 8, 2015 | By Simon

In what sounds like something that might have actually been out of the iconic science fiction flick, you can now generate and 3D print Star Wars Death Star audio speakers based on any volume of your liking.

Created by Nothing Labs' Rich Olson and available over on Thingiverse, the "Parametric Spherical Speaker Generator" NOMOON generator is, at its core, capable of creating spherical speaker enclosures of any volume. A user is also able to configure other variables for the final design including wall thickness, bass port dimensions and number of screw holes, among others. Additionally, the NOMOON generator also includes a speaker stand design to support the final spherical model.

"Nomoon can create spherical speaker enclosures of any volume," says Olson. "You can configure things like wall thickness, bass port dimensions, number of screw holes, etc. They work great as little desktop speakers. These are pretty capable drivers -- and should work well in a bigger system with a subwoofer."

Created using the free OpenSCAD 3D modeler, Project NOMOON is an acronym for “Nomoon Orbital Music-making Open-source OpenSCAD-generated Nihilator”, which also gives reference to the famous Star Wars line “That’s no moon.  It’s a space station,” when the Death Star was first discovered in the movie.

Similar to how most products are manufactured, Olson recommends starting with the internal driver you intend on using first and then generating the final Death Star model around those parameters.

“I've created a handful of NOMOON speakers using different drivers,” says Olson.  “The trick is finding small-ish full-range drivers that have circular mounts.  Many speakers you see in devices that appear to have round mounts are actually rear-mounted.”

For his example, Olson used a driver from Parts Express that he claims are his favorite:  

“In a 1.1 liter ported enclosure tuned to 100hz - they provide a calculated F3 of 101hz.  This setup sounds really nice!  The bass is full (especially for 2" drivers) - and treble / midrange sound good.  They work great as little desktop speakers.  These are pretty capable drivers - and should work well in a bigger system with a subwoofer.”

Once the driver choice has been established, he recommends paying close attention to the hole designs that are generated.  While the measurements may appear to be correct on the screen, some 3D printers have a tendency to print the holes slightly smaller.  

“I've found holes on 3d prints tend to come out a little smaller than intended - and some speakers need holes a bit larger than their spec sheets indicate.  My advice is to make the speaker mounting hole as large as practical - as opposed to as small as practical.”

As for 3D printing, Olson recommends using a raft when printing your speakers and using three shells at 10% infill at a 200 micron layer height using silver PLA.  If you want the speakers to provide better sound, he recommends increasing the wall thickness and/or infill and stuffing the speakers with polyfill to dampen the dead space.

NOMOON is based off of a previous parametric generator that Olson also developed called SpeakerGen.  The original generator was able to generate a box of any desired volume, ratio and wall thickness.  It was also able to determine the optimal sealed box size for any driver as well as included cutouts for the speaker and bass port.

Between the two speaker generators, Olson appears to be a big believer in 3D printed speakers, adding:

“While printing speaker boxes is slow - and only really an option for smaller enclosures - it has several advantages. Assembly is almost instant - and printed enclosures intrinsically don't have issues with panel fit. They are almost certain to be air-tight. If your speaker doesn't seem solid enough - just reprint with a higher infill percent!”


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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