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Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

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  • Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build





    Hi Everyone,

    For the past couple months I have been experimenting with decorative concrete and mold making. After much trial and error, this morning I finally opened a mold to a working part! I thought this would be a good time to share.

    Some background:

    I purchased a set of speedster components last year with the intent of making a pair of mid century style boxes (previously posted). I went as far as purchasing cherry plywood, and 3/16" aluminum only to find that my table saw would not be accurate enough for the miter cuts and did not want to waste the material. I slapped together some MDF boxes and have been using them on my desk. Eventually I would get around to building something nicer.

    I drew up a few more unconventional designs but was not really happy with them. It was after seeing Dan Clement's Corian build that I decided to keep the look simple and got an idea to do a 3D printed housing with concrete reinforcement. Great I thought, I have most of the tools to do this already, and concrete is really inexpensive. This project became an obsession and consumed what little free time and sleep I get.

    So I'll post more description and a proper build log another time. In short, this is a Speedster (thanks Paul) that is enclosed in a 3D printed housing. The exterior walls of the housing are made up of 1 inch pyramids to provide pockets for the concrete to flow in and prevent it from de-laminating. All the mounting provisions for the tweeter, woofer, baseplate, port, terminals, are integrated. The shell is a 1/2" inch thick decorative white concrete with a glass smooth finish (in most places).The base plate will be made of 1/4" thick machined aluminum which is where I will integrate the crossovers.

    I don't presume that any of this will make any noticeable improvement in terms of sound quality. I just hope that it does adversely affect it. My goal was really to just get my hands dirty and learn about this process. I have some plans to apply this technique to my day job.

    Can't wait to pour the other speaker and get this up and running. Hope you enjoy the pics!

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    Last edited by infamous_panda; 10-26-2013, 03:38 PM.
    // WWW.JONCON.NET

    // SPEEDSTERS - Concrete over 3D Print Build Thread

  • #2
    Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

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    // WWW.JONCON.NET

    // SPEEDSTERS - Concrete over 3D Print Build Thread

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    • #3
      Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

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      // WWW.JONCON.NET

      // SPEEDSTERS - Concrete over 3D Print Build Thread

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      • #4
        Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

        Looking really good! Would you mind sharing the concrete mix used?
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        • #5
          Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

          WOW!
          Do you have to finish/treat the concrete when it comes from the mold or does it come out glass smooth?

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          • #6
            Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

            I don't suppose youd be willing to share your maker files would you?

            and ditto on the concrete process you used. this is just a dandy thought.

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            • #7
              Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

              WOW!
              All I can say....
              Wolf
              "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
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              • #8
                Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                The concrete is a premixed bag of Fuzion ZFRC from blueconcrete.com. Added to it is platinum white pigment and a super plasticizer. The guys at blueconcrete.com are very helpful on advising on the mix per application. The first experiment I did used a self leveling underlayment from Lowes.

                http://www.lowes.com/pd_59145-41173-13141_0__

                It was much easier to work with and the result was very good, however not quite as premium as the ZFRC mix.

                The concrete will take on the surface finish of the mold. In this case I laminated clear plexiglass over the melamine mold. The silicone plugs for the port flare and tweeter were also sanded and polished so that the concrete would be as smooth as possible out of the pouring. I don't have much patience for sanding but you could also polish the concrete after the fact. It really brings out the look of the sand in the concrete mix and you get flecks of sparkle at different angles. It does eventually need to get sealed so that it won't get stained. I am not sure how this will effect the finish.

                I took a bit too long to pour the mixture into the mold and you might see that the lower sides have a bit of marbling effect. This was not intended but I don't really mind it. My theory is that the plasticizer that makes the concrete pourable was starting to lose it's effect and the pigment and aggregate started to separate as I was pouring it. I mixed this up by hand and probably just took too long to get things going.

                I'll probably post up the the 3D files once the project is complete and I get some time to enjoy them.
                Last edited by infamous_panda; 09-25-2013, 05:06 PM.
                // WWW.JONCON.NET

                // SPEEDSTERS - Concrete over 3D Print Build Thread

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                • #9
                  Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                  That's awesome. What software are you using to design the box? Those tessellatations would be time-consuming to produce by hand... When you have time to write more, please go into some detail on how you did that.

                  Heck of a job on the details (screw holes etc..)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                    Very impressive build. I am fascinated with what people are doing with 3D printers. Have a look at this guy. He is building an entire car with a 3-d printer.

                    http://www.replicadb4.com/default.aspx
                    Shaken, not stirred...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                      Originally posted by SirNickity View Post
                      That's awesome. What software are you using to design the box? Those tessellatations would be time-consuming to produce by hand... When you have time to write more, please go into some detail on how you did that.

                      Heck of a job on the details (screw holes etc..)
                      I use Solidworks and your right, they were time consuming.... There probably is software out there that will generate them, but I was a bit OCD in that each triangle surfaces had to line up to some logical order with the internal features. For example if you look at the woofer flare, its surface flows smoothly into the peaks near the tweeter.

                      FYI, after doing this I am no longer worried that the concrete will delaminate even if I made these surfaces flat. I just think they look cool and I am glad to know they are there underneath. I did have to make the housing 1/2" deeper to maintain the internal volume and compensate for the added material.

                      There was also some thought that the triangles would have an acoustic effect of similar to studio wall treatments. But that stuff starts to get out of my realm of understanding.
                      // WWW.JONCON.NET

                      // SPEEDSTERS - Concrete over 3D Print Build Thread

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                      • #12
                        Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                        That's straight Bad A$$ people are doing some really cool stuff with the Speedsters, Paul must be a proud papa!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                          Before swapping both components over to the concrete cabinets, please just do 1 and do an A/B test. I'm SOOOO curious to if you'll be able to hear a difference.

                          Thanks so much, this looks awesome.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                            Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                            WOW!
                            All I can say....
                            Wolf
                            + eleventy billion. Please be my build buddy!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Speedsters - Concrete over 3D print build

                              I took a bit too long to pour the mixture into the mold and you might see that the lower sides have a bit of marbling effect. This was not intended but I don't really mind it. My theory is that the plasticizer that makes the concrete pourable was starting to lose it's effect and the pigment and aggregate started to separate as I was pouring it. I mixed this up by hand and probably just took too long to get things going.

                              QUOTE]

                              Approx. time from start of mix to get this one poured? Just wondering what working window there is for this product.

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