Building a Chladni Plate

I was asked to collaborate with Moonlighter Makerspace to make a Chladni Plate for the upcoming LATE @frostscience museum event series. Chladnis Plates provided an early way to visualize the effects of vibrations on mechanical surfaces based on the German scientist Ernst Chladni one of the pioneers of experimental acoustics and Cymatics.

This was my initial sketch for the build.

Bad build Sketch
Speaker connected to an amp and my laptop.

I needed to test the speaker as it had been sitting in my shed for over 9 years.

Speaker test

Marking the holes to drill and putting the threaded rods through.

A cardboard mock up to test the dimensions of acrylic panel that had to be laser cut. This also visualized the length of the threaded rods. This panel will block the sound coming directly from the speaker and keeping the whole mechanism rigid. It allows only the vibrations from the central rod (adhered to the center of the speaker cone) to reach the top plate.

Adding a threaded rod to a PVC cap. This will be glued to the center of the speaker cone on one end, and the other end of the threaded rod will be connected to the center of the top metal plate.

Attaching the Speaker to to the base
Gluing the PVC Cap to the Speaker. adding 2 nuts for the bottom of the plate.

Adding the acrylic barrier

Testing the height of the Chladni plate and adjusting the bottom nuts. Initial test with salt in every direction.


Picture of a demo by Tom Pupo from Moonlighter Makerspace at the Frost At Night event.
Made other Cymatics to show at the Frost Museum

Demoing Cymatics at Maker Faire Orlando. Video from Pete Prodoehl a Maker Faire Producer and Maker.

Image Credit Pete Prodoehl http://rasterweb.net/raster/page/3/

I won a My first Maker of Merit Blue Ribbon for my Cymatics build, and Many Demos throughout the day.

I would like to thank Ian Cole for Inviting Moonlighter Makerspace and Me to Maker Faire Orlando and Pete Prodoehl for My first Blue Ribbon.