3D Printed Audio Exciter

This project uses a 3D Printed Speaker "Cone" and Coil Bobbin as an audio exciter

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This project uses 3d printed parts as an Audio Exciter. Although it isn't particularly efficient, it does actually make sound (and works much better as an exciter than a speaker).

Some Notes and Details:

So first thing's first: this project turned out a bit quieter than I'd have hoped, but considering this started off as a sort of a weird hybrid of a concept for a 3D printed drum and a concept for a 3D printed solenoid... I'm pretty happy with it.

The basic idea here is sort of a primitive "moving iron" speaker, where the magnet is attached to a diaphragm, and an electromagnet [speaker coil] applies a varying magnetic field.  This moves the magnet/diaphragm and pushes the air, or in the case of an exciter, it vibrates the substrate or plate that you've placed the exciter on.

Winding the bobbin in this project until it's "full" of 28 gauge magnet wire, should get you in the ballpark of 16 ohms, depending on enamel thickness, etc. - which can be driven by most audio power amplifiers.

For those looking to make or modify this design:

As mentioned, there's a lot of room for improvement, so I've left an assembly as a .step file in case anyone wants to make mods in their favorite CAD software. If you've got flexible filament, I think separating that cone into multiple parts, and making it more "speaker-like" could go a long way. 

I think one low-hanging fruit if you want to take a similar approach to this design, might be to try thinning out the cone a little bit more (the diaphragm is currently 0.3mm thickness, but I've successfully printed "drumskins" with 0.1mm - it's just a challenge to get these off the print bed)!

Check out the build video if you're interested in seeing how it was made:

.STEP Assembly file + STL's

x-zip-compressed - 320.58 kB - 03/01/2021 at 03:11


  • 1 × 3d Printed Parts One of each in .zip file
  • 1 × 1/4in x 1in Neodymium Magnet Anything 3/4in to 1 1/2 in length should work
  • 1 × 28 gauge Magnet wire ~200-250 feet for a 16 ohm speaker (scale as needed)
  • 1 × Audio Amplifier Board Generic, 20W+, 12V+
  • 1 × Power Supply for Amplifier

View all 9 components

  • 1
    3D Printing

    3D Print each of the components in the .zip file.  These include the coil bobbin (top and bottom), Speaker "cone", and speaker "back".  Be particularly careful when you pull the speaker cone off the bed!  I found that pulling the glass bed plate off mine and running cold water under the part helped free it a bit.

  • 2
    Install Heated Inserts

    Using a soldering iron, supply M3 heated inserts to the bobbin, and M4 heated inserts to the "cone"/membrane.  I recommend using a vise for this step:

  • 3
    Winding the Speaker Coil

    Assemble the bobbin (should "snap" together, but recommend using some epoxy to hold it all together).

    Then wind the coil (either using a dedicated winder, a hand drill, or doing it by hand).  The coil bobbin is designed to fit onto a 1/4in shaft with a heat-set insert for a set screw.  Total number of winds should be around 600 or so for a 16 ohm speaker.  This wouldn't be fun to do by hand, but isn't as bad as trying to do a guitar pickup (5-10k turns!).

View all 7 instructions

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Dan Maloney wrote 03/03/2021 at 01:28 point

Caught the video the other day, good stuff. Looking forward to more details.

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TheMixedSignal wrote 03/07/2021 at 21:54 point

Thanks!  Meant to pull this all together a bit sooner, but work got a bit crazy this week :) I've just added some more details and descriptions about how it all goes together!

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