Design cycle, creating the solution: passive amplifier

Design cycle, creating the solution: passive amplifier

DesignCycle2014Cracking on!  You've got your Design Brief and now you've developed your ideas.  Next step will be to build a model of your amp.  Ready?

Gather your Design Brief, your sketches, and measurements in order to build a model of your amplifier.  You may choose to build it out of cardboard or blue-foam.  In either case, Number One wants you to build as accurate a model as you can, showing actual dimensions of your final product.

This is so that you can test your model with your smart phone to make sure your measurements are accurate and will work with the phone.  Your model isn't functional. It won't actually amplify the sound from your phone (it might decrease it, in fact), but you can check that slots, grooves, and so on all line up with the actual dimensions of the phone and locations of the speakers.

If you need to make any adjustments, note them on your sketches.  Take a few photos of your model as you build it, to post on your Portfolio as a progress report.  Then you're ready for building stage.

For building, you'll need to select two boards of hardwood in the correct size and an attractive look for the outside of your amplifier.  You'll also need a center board (or more than one) which will provide the thickness in your product.  See Number One or Mr. Ahmed for assistance with this.  They'll show you where the wood you may use is located.

Before you get started with the next bit, I have a short video of someone making an amp that I'd like you to watch.  Pay particular attention to how they measure and mark - there are several useful shortcuts they show that will help you considerably.

One note here - this designer did not use a routing table to round off the edges of his project, he used sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease.  You can shorted the workload considerably by using the routing table.  Mr. Ahmed or Number One can show you how to use it safely (you watched the video, I know, but it's always best to get a quick refresher from a live person when you go to use new equipment the first time).

Now it's time to get busy(er).  Be sure to take pictures as you work!

  1. Measure and mark all your cuts.
  2. Make your cuts using the hole saws, band saws, scroll saws and routing table as needed.
  3. Glue the pieces together.  Make any final cuts needed to square off, or angle, edges.
  4. Round off the outside edges with the router table if you want that.
  5. Use the hole sanders, band sander, and hand sanding to smooth all surfaces of your amplifier.
  6. Apply your chosen finish, sand lightly with high-grade sandpaper (about 600 grit) and apply again.  Buff with a cotton cloth and you're finished making!

That is some work to be proud of, Visitor.  Final stage is to evaluate.  Think about these questions and post a reflection in your Portfolio:

  • What went well in this project?
  • If you were to do a project similar to this again, what would you change about how you worked on it in order to improve?
  • What ideas has this project given you?

When you've posted that, you're ready to grab the final loot (in case it's not fresh in your memory, you'll need to click "Final" and then "Master Again" in order to grab that last batch of loot).  Copy your URL here.

Gratz!  Well earned.

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