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iSound iPad Accesory

Problem Found = Problem Solved!

One of the things I find most powerful about 3D printing is that it gives you the ability to almost instantly turn your ideas into reality and see if they work.

I have an iPad 3 and, to commit the sacrilege of saying something negative about Apple design which, in this case, may have put form ahead of function, one of the slight flaws I have found with it is that the speaker is on the back and pointing towards the rear. This means that the sound tends to be fairly 'bassy' (which is great for some music, but less so for stuff with talking, like movies and TV). This is because, although bass is pretty omni-directional, the higher frequencies are directional so, in this case, travel the wrong way. It also means that, because it is facing the wrong way, it directs the sound away from me and towards people (usually my wife) who do not necessarily want to hear what I am watching. A simple way to test this is to simply cup your hand over the speaker, which redirects the sound towards you, and you instantly get clear sound. I spent a few days with a folded post-it not stuck on my iPad and, although this worked, it didn't feel quite right.

To fix this problem, I've designed a little 3D printed widget that redirects the sound towards the front, and gives you ample treble, which greatly improves the sound for movies and TV. I did it just for fun, but was surprised by how effectively it works. The sound is now crystal clear!

The one shown on the pictures below was printed on an EOS Formiga P110 SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) system, but there is no reason it couldn't just as easily be printed on a desktop FDM 3D printer, or resin based printer.

The STL file is available for download at the bottom of this page.

Of course, now I have an iPad Pro, so have had to put the widget on steroids, because the iPad pro has 4 speakers. But the new speakers also make excellent protective bumpers to avoid damaging my iPad when I drop it. :-)

CAD files

STL format files for iPad 3 (542 Kb)

STL format files for iPad Pro (347 Kb)


copyright 2011, olaf diegel