Phase 2: Prototyping

Prototype #1

I excitedly arrived at work this morning to see that my first 3D modeled prototype was printed and ready to experiment with! It was the craziest experience seeing something that I worked to design digitally suddenly come to life in the real world, in front of my eyes.

I decided to start off by printing out my sound amplification system and testing out if it actually worked. I printed two main pieces: the phone stand as well as the main hexagonal body. My goal was to funnel the sound from the phone speaker, through the back of the stand, and then direct the sound into the center of the main body to bounce back into the listeners ears.

I used a decibel measuring app to measure the difference in decibel levels outside of the amplifier versus inside. As you can see in the graph below which is measuring the decibel level over time, the level began at around 75dB, then spiked up around 20dB to the 90–100dB range once it entered the amplification system, and then spiked back down. This was very exciting for me to see as the average MP3 player’s maximum volume level is around 100dB and a person exposed to noise levels any louder than this for a prolonged period of time is at risk to damaging their ears.

Decibel Level of iPhone Speaker over time

Some of the issues I bumped into were the fact that my stand did not sufficiently hold my phone up and when the phone was in the stand and the main body it did not properly fit. My next steps are to address these issues in my design, think about a way that I can incorporate a path for a phone charger and incorporate modular shelving and organizational components.

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