For my Final Design Project I decided to recreate a design that I was fairly familiar with while working as a Mechanical Engineering Intern for Comcast last summer. One of the projects that I worked on while there was a device that had a very modern/futuristic aesthetic and worked as a voice activated speaker/voice assistant. Unfortunately the project was shut down due to cost so I wanted to recreate the design work that I had already done. I knew I wanted the internals to have a voice assistant, connect to Bluetooth, and have a quality internal speaker so I decided to go with an Echo Dot speaker for the internals of my speaker (because I am completely helpless when it comes to electronics). The first step was to disassemble the prebuilt speaker and get the dimensions for my design.
After I measured everything and chose proper mounting places I could begin the CAD assembly of my prototype.
I had to make the overall casing much larger than the Comcast prototype, but it still modeled after the original aesthetic that I was going for. The casing nicely fits the speaker in the center and holds it firmly using mounts that aligned with the speaker’s original mounts. A top frame attached to the top of the casing and had some flexibility to it so that I could later on attach buttons to the top of the speaker for easy volume adjustment. The back of the case had three snaps that would lock into the stand. The stand itself was very difficult to design because the power cord had to nicely snake through the body and come out the back without being seen. I did this by adding a rubber base to the bottom that would lock the cord in and create a more stable base. From here it was onto the 3D printer.
The 3D printing actually ended up being much more difficult than expected even though I have had extensive experience with the machines. This was because I decided to use ABS plastic in my print compared to PLA at first because it has better material properties for longevity and a finish closer to what I was going for. After about 12 tries however, I switched to PLA and got the entire model finished in about 3 tries. Overall I think it turned out extremely well.
You can see in the first picture that I had to add sound dampening pads to reverberate the sound and make it sound much less “plasticy”. You can also notice that I got the light ring working and throughout I made sure that it would be visible even with the top frame. The last steps were to sand, print the rubber base, and add fabric to the top frame.
This is the final product! I added the fabric to the front and you can see the light ring pretty well too. Once adding the top frame I noticed that the sound quality dropped slightly so I decided to get janky and add some holes to the front face. This improved it slightly. Overall I am very proud with the design and think I achieved my aesthetic. This definitely isn’t a project that I’m going to be done with as I still have a few more improvements I want to make.
Here is the link to the presentation: