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  • Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

    I ran across a vendor that sells 3/4" acrylic. I have made fish tanks out of it before, but wondered if anyone has ever built a speaker enclosure out of it? Specifically, I was thinking it might be cool to utilize as an open baffle desing (like the Sunflowers) and paint the backside of it black (or whatever color one might fancy). Not my cup of tea, but one could also rig it up with LED lighting and do a lot of different things with it. I remember it seemed to cut just fine on my table saw, but I was also just building tanks for my reef filters and hospital tanks for fish.

    I searched for acrylic speakers and found some wicked-cool designs, but nothing holding a meaningful-sized driver (i.e. a sub).

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

    Acrylic looks cool, but it's not very rigid or well-damped. An enclosure would need a fair amount of bracing to perform well. Or you could just go with looks and not worry about performance.
    "We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true."
    –Robert Wilensky

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    • #3
      Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

      I really like the look of that speaker you posted. I've seen a couple car audio enclosures made of it.....
      Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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      • #4
        Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

        Saw acrylic speakers a few decades ago somewhere on Bourbon Street when I was much younger and far more impressionable. (Not to mention way more foolish and, therefore, probably way more fun.) How expensive is the material?

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        • #5
          Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

          Yeah, I was really interested in using it as a baffle for an OB build. I wonder if the back side of it could be layered with black asphalt or something? 3/4" thick acrylic is pretty stout stuff.

          It is supposed to be 8 times stronger than glass of equal thickness. Glass, over a 48" span will hold 40 pounds. IF that is a true, a 48" span of 3/4" Acrylic should hold 480 pounds. I don't see MDF doing that. So, I think the ridgidity might be a misnomer? That leaves well-damped.

          Has anyone worked with the thicker stuff?

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          • #6
            Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

            3/4" x 12" x48" sheet is about $75. For the sunflowers, that would be two of those for the front baffles (to make it easy). A full sheet of it (48" x 96") would be $488.

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            • #7
              Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

              Originally posted by tc View Post
              3/4" x 12" x48" sheet is about $75. For the sunflowers, that would be two of those for the front baffles (to make it easy). A full sheet of it (48" x 96") would be $488.
              Well, as fun as that might be, I think I'll save my $ for drivers and XO parts. And maybe prettier veneers. Thanks for the info.

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              • #8
                Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                See Dan N's build

                http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...ge-choice.html
                John H

                Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                • #9
                  I think, for my purposes of using a 12" wide baffle, it would be cost effective. Take into account mdf and what it takes to get a piano black finish (not just sealers, paints, and clears but time investment too) and something that can be cleaned with Windex (I have one year old twins and a four year old), it kind of makes sense to me,

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                  • #10
                    Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                    Don't clean acrylic with Windex it will scratch it and turn it white. People make that mistake all the time it grinds the dirt-dust into the surface. You should use Pledge it suspends the dirt and lubricates the surface
                    "Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged.
                    No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere."
                    -Theodore Roosevelt

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                    • #11
                      Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                      Good to know Eric. We actually use some kind of pledge "multi-surface" cleaner that is also a dust spray. Will have to check that out. Unless I hear otherwise, I am just about ready to order me so acrylic.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                        Thank you, JHollander, for the link! That is very similar to what I was dreaming up (seems I never have an original thought....)

                        I think one could band the acrylic with a dadoed hardwood trim and make a smooth-looking baffle. Was nice to see how that acrylic was machined too. 6" x 3/4" curly maple would give the 4-5" U I would need. This is getting neater by the minute.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                          Another material you might want to consider is high density polyethylene (HDPE), AKA cutting board material. You can't glue it, but you can use threaded inserts to bolt things together. I think the stuff is fun to work with--it cuts easily and it makes interesting white sawdust. It's not as expensive as acrylic, but not as strong, either.



                          Free Passive Speaker Designer Lite (PSD-Lite) -- http://www.audiodevelopers.com/Softw...Lite/setup.exe

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                          • #14
                            Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                            Originally posted by Jonathan Anspach View Post
                            Acrylic looks cool, but it's not very rigid or well-damped. An enclosure would need a fair amount of bracing to perform well. Or you could just go with looks and not worry about performance.
                            I'm not sure about being "well
                            damped", but in 3/4" thickness at a baffle width of 12" I believe it would be plenty rigid as
                            a baffle for the Sunflower project.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Building an enclosure out of Acrylic?

                              I have dreams of building a plastic enclosure. There are some cool TB drivers I want to see on my desk top.

                              Acrylic can be fused together. I guess you fish tank builders know all about this. I think this web site and the videos are great.

                              http://www.tapplastics.com/product_info/videos

                              This FAQ is not bad
                              http://case-mods.linear1.org/acrylic...-plastics-faq/

                              This is my current idea
                              http://www.amazon.com/14-Clear-Acryl...=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
                              John H

                              Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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