This week I wanted to make a life-size gramophone for my iPhone. I don't own iPhone speakers, so I thought it would be cool to make my own non-electronic amplifier via a gramophone. Since I most associate gramophones with very retro, 20's like design, I wanted to make it modern with cleaner shapes and a more minimalistic design aesthetic.


Different stand designs.

First full design, incorporating a modern and traditional look.

Different gramophone designs.

Since my gramophone had to take on a more conical shape, I stared out with folding up a bunch of small papers with different aspect ratios to see which I liked the best. By playing with paper I also learned that I needed an extra tab to close up the cone.

Using my preliminary design inspiration, I prototyped that shape by tracing out a stencil of the unrolled surface, cutting it out into 6 equal sections, adding tabs, and then stapling them all together. While I liked the general shape, I thought that the tabs would be unappealing and actually very manually intensive to rivet together in the end with plastic rivets.

The model all stapled together. Not bad, but definitely out of scope when extrapolating that out to life-size scale.

I originally planned to use 1/8 inch HDPE and score it to create the hexagonal folded cone seen above. But after the plastic came in I realized it would be too floppy so I simplified the design into a uniform cone that wouldn't have any score marks.

Using the Orient3Pt tool, I was able to two-dimensonalize my work for CNC cutting. Here is the 2D model of the cone.

Similarly, the Rhino model of the stand.


Once the parts were ready (it took a few attempts in Rhino to get it ready for milling), I transferred my file into mastercam where I generated the g-code to speak to the router. The job was quick; only 10 min and everything was finished and ready for assembly.

The finished parts assembled together; gramophone and stand.


I realized this week that the bottleneck with CNC milling is not the machining process. That takes very little time. It is the preparation before, across the whole workflow - from Rhino to Mastercam and back if you mess up. One result that was really great this week was learning a lot of the commands in Rhino to the point that I feel past the "activation barrier" that keeps making me want to just go back to Solidworks, with which I am comfortable. Besides the frustration of going back and forth from Rhino and Mastercam, this was a fun week.