I took CMU's 15-294 Rapid Prototyping course in the semester of Fall 2015, where I learnt to use SolidWorks for laser cutting and 3D printing. For my final project, I designed and 3D printed an iPhone speaker, which I was in need of.
I started out by figuring out the dimensions needed for the speaker to hold my phone snugly. To that end, I made use of the dimensions provided by Apple and 3D printed several small holders to test the fit. I finally settled on the dimensions below.
Next up was designing the speaker itself. I started with the side profile which was extruded, filletted and then shelled to create the main body of the speaker. I also made a hole so that the phone's home button would be accessible when the iPhone was in the speaker.
One might notice grooves cut into the base of the speaker. These were included in an attempt to make the process of removing the speaker from the print plate easier. In theory, water would flow through these grooves and help dissolve the glue between the speaker and the plate. In practice, this didn't seem to help much (more on this later).
This design was 3D printed and its acoustic properties were tested.
The acoustic amplification worked surprisingly well, but there were a few more tweaks I wanted to make before I was satisfied. For one, while the hole I made earlier gave me access to the home button, I could not swipe up from the bottom of the screen because the top of the hole was in the way, so that needed to be fixed. I also made the supporting stand at the back larger so that the speaker would be less prone to toppling over when the phone was in it. Finally, I removed the bottom face entirely to save on 3D printer filament (it's expensive!) and to make removing the speaker from the print plate a lot easier. It didn't affect the acoustic properties because whatever surface the speaker was resting on would act as the bottom face anyway.
This design was 3D-printed and submitted.
Other design details
Little platforms inside speaker for phone to rest on