February 27, 2024

By Monica Solano

Asst. Health Editor


While many people tend to buy speakers in order to enhance and amplify the sound on their cellular devices, some students have invented interesting ways to create their own output devices.

Joe Arjona, junior mechanical engineering major, has made functioning phone speakers from daily ordinary items. One of the speakers he has invented was designed from a Tootsie Roll cardboard coin bank.

For this project, known as the Log Design Speaker, Arjona used a Tootsie Roll cardboard tube, quick-drying glue, toothpicks and Popsicle sticks.

The tube is first placed on its side. A hole the size of the base of the phone is cut into the top of the tube, where the phone is inserted. Then, holes are marked where the stand will go. Toothpicks and pencils are used as the stands of the speaker to prevent it from rolling over.

Once the stands are inserted and have been secured with glue, it is important to wait for the apparatus to dry. The last step is to insert the speaker end of the phone into the tube and play music.

“The sound exits the phone’s speaker and is sent into the tube,” Arjona said. “Here, the sound waves are compressed. Similar to how placing your thumb over the hose makes water spray further, placing sound into a chamber focuses the waves and makes them sound louder near the openings of the tubes.”

Jim Devore, senior mechanical engineering major, has designed and created a way to make an iPhone speaker using a 3-D printer to print simple plastic materials.

“The speaker is made of PLA plastic,” Devore said. “It is biodegradable, meaning that it can be composted and is more brittle and easier for the printer to print.”

DeVore first designs the layout of the speaker onto a CAD (computer-aided design) computer.

Depending on the amount of layers and printing needed, the printer lays down plastic one layer at a time, heats it up and lays it on the platform. The printer repeats until pre-designed 3-D objects such as phone speakers is complete.

There are several innovative ways to create new speakers for various uses.

Whether handmade or through a 3-D printer, there is no limit to what one can do when it comes to finding alternative ways to invent useful everyday items.

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