A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
FD61 – The Modular 3D Printed Speaker
FD61 is a speaker to utilizing 3D printing to produce a loudspeaker which can compete with industry drivers, and is highly customisable. Something you cannot obtain anywhere else! It’s sent as an easy to build kit at home, making it the only known driver I can find where you can do this. This is thanks to the design having being refined over 32 prototypes
"the work that [Paul] has done here is certainly the most thorough, and dare we say practical, take we've ever seen on the concept" - Hackaday
With an interchangeable drivetrain and phase plug design, you can swap up components to change the sound and look of your speaker. It also has a modular magnet motor which uses no glue or epoxy with its design, allowing the magnet motors design to also be changed out. If you finish with the speaker itself, you can reuse those magnets, reducing the amount of material in landfill.
Why would I want a modular speaker driver like FD61?
· Matches industry driver performance
· Can change the drivetrain, allowing drastic tone and material use in the same enclosure
· Modular magnet motor allows its use cases to be left wide open
· Can change out the style whenever you like
· Due to its modular nature, repairs are a possibility
· Good size for Bluetooth Speakers, Soundbars, Smart Speakers, Speaker Monitors and Bookshelf Speakers
· Plans for projects provided in both wood and 3D Printed designs
· Kits for entire Bluetooth Speaker and Bookshelf Speakers available
· Opportunity for upgrades and advancements
You mention it is an easy to build kit, but how easy really is it?
Why has this not been done before now?
The kit itself consists of gluing and screwing the components together. Industry drivers are mainly not compatible with kit design due to the magnet motor
As you can see, the industry uses less magnets and a much thinner gap for the voice coil to fit. This is more efficient and therefore cost effect for them, at the cost of bonding all these materials together permanently. This results it the driver requiring specific tools and skill sets to achieve a working driver. There are also problems such as the fragile 0.15mm thick formers which are easily damaged.
FD61 uses a radically different magnet motor arrangement which allows it to have a much larger magnetic gap without losing too much power. This allows the use of a thicker, printed former and more space for the voice coil to go. The suspension and frame has also been designed around my automatic alignment method where the placing of components during the gluing process of them naturally aligns them to remove user error. Add to this the voice coil winding area being overly large to compensate for messy winding and you have a design where each component has been designed to make sure this is as easy, if not easier than your average unit assembly.
You say FD61 matches industry drivers. How have you determined this?
FD61 has been compared throughout its development against 4 other drivers. This includes a Dayton driver from the DIY audio side, and a Bose driver from the more traditional readymade speaker design. Depending on the material, an SPL of 77<80dB @1W/1M is in line with the likes of the Hivi B3N, Aura NS3 and Tang Band W3. Its SPL being on the lower side allows it to have good bass response in small cabinets compared to the higher SPL drivers.
Frequency response too has been compared with a calibrated flat response microphone and analysed for Thiele and Small parameters with the use of a WT3 analyser. These parameters come in within the +/-20% industry standard with ease. With frequency response performing from 60Hz all the way to 16,000Hz, it is a solid, industry performance full range speaker driver. Why not take a listen! Below is a youtube video I did directly comparing the sound of the same song on a Gale bookshelf speaker, the Dayton PS95 in a printed enclosure, and then FD61 running.
What are the advantages of a full range driver. Surely a woofer and tweeter is better as it is so common?
It is true the 2-way and 3-way systems can make sense, but this is very rarely executed well under £500 for a pair of bookshelf speakers. The main reason for multiple drivers is due to them being easier to design and manufacture.
Full range drivers have 2 key advantages
1) The sound is all emitted from one location, so stereo imaging is improved. Being able to tell where instruments were playing in the recording becomes easier and clearer.
2) There is no crossover required, which is usually a key source to the stereo image being lost and the speaker sounding artificial. You can still use a High pass filter if you like to, but the option of running the driver straight to an amplifier is not out of the question.
Pledge Options Available
FD61-4CF vs FD61-4PW? Which one should I go for?
First thing is that you don't have to make this decision straight away, as I will be asking before producing. FD61-4CF is a heavier driver which is less efficient, but has a stiffer cone. This results in a low sensitivity speaker but with good bass and treble response. FD61-4PW is aimed towards a vintage sound, having a softer cone and rolled off high end performance. It's lower mass helps it produce a higher sensitivity making it more efficient in portable applications.
Valiant or Fastidious?
Both cabinet options are very different, hence the pricing. Valiant is built to be used as a Bluetooth speaker or satellite based speaker. It's 0.8L size is a great way to get started and keeps costs down. Fastidious is the complete opposite, using nearly 1kg of material each and designed to extract as much bass from the build volume available on a 3D printer. If your new to building speakers, or wanting to experience building your own speaker, Valiant is a great option. If you want the best this method has to off, and want something you can use as your bookshelf speaker, Fastidious is the option for you.
You said in your video your releasing the cabinet designs for free?
Yes this is true, and at the end of the campaign I will be making the STL files available from polymate3d.com. Where the driver requires very exact tolerances, multiple processes and set temperatures to give the desired result, the cabinets do not. I am releasing 2 to begin with, but will expand this to give you all options to pick from. I am also encouraging others to design there own, and if suitable will put up on the website as well with permission.
So you have a driver ready to produce. Why the kickstarter campaign?
The main reason for the campaign is to help judge the scale at which I need to be able to make these for you all. I use my own designed in house 3D printer, and so I need to know how many I need and what kind of operation I need to run to deliver this. Your pledge will help me not only build up the machines I need to do this, but also allow me more time to develop new drivetrains and phase plugs for you all. I want this to be the start of many customization options.
Thank you very much for reading through, and really hope you join me in this new exciting approach, both for new and experienced alike.3
Paul - Designer of FD61
Risks and challenges
I will be sticking to using 3D Printers to create the parts required and this was a key aspect of my design from the very start. The limitations on pledges are there to make sure I can keep to the targets set out.
If all pledges are filling, I also have extra help available if required. I have worked relentlessly to eliminate as many risks and eliminate challenges before offering my work to you.
Thank you very much for supporting the product. Due to your contribution to the project, your name will go onto the kickstarter supporters page which will stay as a permanent fixture on the Polymate3d.com website
On top of getting your name on the polymate3d website, you`ll get sent via email a PDF detailing briefly a history of FD61's development. What went well, and what not so much. You will also get a PDF for getting started in DIY audio if this is your first steps, whether you are using FD61 or not
This will get you one of the first kits made. Your choice of drive train will be submitted via email after the kickstarter campaign is over. You`ll also get all screws and glue required to assemble and a printed step by step guide. Youtube video will also be made
This gets you a single driver which is assembled by myself. The choice of drivetrain will be asked via message after the campaign. This is the reward to go for if you are not confident in the idea of assembling your own but want the future ability to change parts out.
Your choice of drive train will can be submitted via email after the kickstarter campaign is over. You`ll also get all screws and glue required to assemble and a printed step by step guide. Youtube video will also be made
This will get you one of the first dual kits made. Your choice of drive train will be done via email after the kickstarter campaign. You`ll also get all screws and glue required to assemble and a printed step by step guide. Youtube video will also be made
This gets you a dual driver which is assembled by myself. The choice of drivetrain will be asked via message after the campaign. This is the reward to go for if you are not confident in the idea of assembling your own but want the future ability to change parts out.
Your choice of drive train will be done via email after the kickstarter campaign. You`ll also get all screws and glue required to assemble and a printed step by step guide. Youtube video will also be made
This gives you everything to build your own portable bluetooth speaker! This includes FD61 Kit, Valiant enclosure, Amplifier, power bank, Bluetooth module, wires and solder. All you`ll require is a screw driver and a soldering iron!
This is for the ones reading about the customization and swapping out and eager to do just that! This includes the FD61 Dual Kit, but also both drive trains and 3 different pairs of phase plugs. Add to this the 3 magnet motor layouts and you have a total of 18 combinations in a single driver! Fan editions will be done after early bird but before normal FD61 kits.
This is the top tier of FD61 at this stage. This includes the FD61 Dual Fan Edition Kit and 2 Fastidious bookshelf cabinets. These enable FD61 to produce from 55Hz all the way to 16,000Hz off a single cone with no whizzer. If you want the best from this new wave of drivers this is it. Thanks to 3D printed cabinet, no finishing or power tools are required. Great for ease of entry or space contraints!
For resellers who want to get there hands on these early, or individuals with plans to create a line array with these. This pledge will allow me to build one of my custom 3D Printers to help get these out to you quicker!