NEW BUILD VIDEO -- DIY Bluetooth Speaker w/ Reactive LED Matrix

My new build video is up -- check it out!

In this video, I show how I designed and built a Bluetooth Speaker with an integrated LED matrix. The LED matrix includes a number of different visualization modes, including a fireplace mode, an abstract “moving art” mode, and several that react to the music via a microphone inside of the speaker box. I haven’t seen any other product designed for the home, which marries sight and sound in this way.

The idea for this project came about in a somewhat unorthodox way. I wanted to build something for several friends expecting newborns. I wanted a gift that would help their children develop neurologically, and a gift that they wouldn’t outgrow. Having done a number of LED projects, and having some woodworking experience, I came up with the idea to integrate an audio-reactive LED matrix in a Bluetooth speaker.

The speaker box involved a fair amount of woodworking. The outside of the box is made from rough curly maple lumber, which I milled to 3/4". The front and back panels are made from MDF. The finish of the curly maple was inspired by electric guitar finishes, like those seen on some of my favorite Paul Reed Smith guitars.

Internally, I am using a 2x15w Dayton Audio bluetooth amplifier board for the audio, and an Arduino Mega to control 16x16 LED matrix (WS2812 LEDs). A small electret microphone inside of the speaker box detects the music that is playing, and provides a signal the Arduino can use to create reactive display on the LEDs.

The design also allows for mechanical adjustment to entirely change the look of the LED matrix; from pixelated to abstract. I am particularly proud of this feature, as I haven’t seen it anywhere else before, and the effect is very cool (it is shown towards the end of the video). The LED matrix is mounted to a baffle behind the white semi-transparent acrylic diffuser, and by twisting a thumb screw on the back of the speaker, you can move the LED baffle towards or away from the diffuser. The thumb screw thus allows you to go from a pixelated display (where individual LEDs are visible), to an abstract display, where the LEDs blur together to form moving art, with an almost 3D-like effect.

 

MM-inspired Concrete and Live-Edge Inlay Charcuterie Board

The Cutting Bored just uploaded a video of their concrete and live-edge inlay charcuterie board.  (I'm trying to resist saying its a cutting board by the Cutting Bored :) ) The video indicates this board was inspired by my live-edge table build video, but this is really a unique twist on the design.  They used inexpensive materials and still got a great looking result.  

Generally, The Cutting Bored has a great YouTube channel going, so check out the rest of their videos as well, and show some love by subscribing.

For those that missed it, here is the original live-edge white concrete table that the Cutting Bored references in their video.

 

New Build Video is Up! Stunning and Simple-to-Make Concrete & Copper Coat Rack

In this video, I show how to make this DIY geometric concrete & copper pipe coat rack (or hat rack, or skateboard rack, whatever you prefer).  This build is really easy to do and fairly inexpensive.  It uses a cheap 3D PVC tile as the base of the form, to give the coat rack its geometric shape.  You can buy any sample of one PVC tile, to customize the geometric shape of the rack how you like.  

The project uses Fishstone GFRC concrete mix so that the tile can be cast at only ½” thick, and be light enough to hang on the wall.  This is a “just add water” mix, which is incredibly easy to use.

I embedded copper pipe pieces in the form and poured the concrete right around them, so that they would serve as posts for hooks.  I then used more copper pipe to build hooks in interesting shapes, around the embedded posts, after the concrete cured.

This was a fun experiment, and could lead to all kinds of things that could be made using this technique for PVC tile as a concrete form.  

A few edits to the commentary -- thanks to my subscribers for pointing these out!

1. Nail polish remover (not nail polish) cleans copper pipe.
2. I used a hot glue gun on the concrete form (not super glue).
3. The GFRC mix takes 1 gallon of water per 50 lb bag (not 1 lb).

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: @modustrialmaker / https://www.instagram.com/modustrialmaker/?hl=en 

PRODUCTS USED IN PROJECT: 

GFRC Mix: http://www.concretecountertopsupply.com/Item/GFRC_Bag_Mix

AR Glass Fibers: http://www.concretecountertopsupply.com/Item/AR_Glass_Fiber

Concrete Sealer: http://amzn.to/2yNaF9P

3D Tile (Used for White Rack): http://amzn.to/2gCT6jb

3D Tile (Used for Grey Rack): http://amzn.to/2h7MoCb

Alternate 3D Tile Option 1: http://amzn.to/2zOwJiO

Alternate 3D Tile Option 2: http://amzn.to/2zCjUHx

Copper Pipe Cutter: http://amzn.to/2h6PztU

Spray Foam: http://amzn.to/2h7jRwq

Turkey Cutter: http://amzn.to/2gCMMrJ

Super Glue: http://amzn.to/2zCsKVU

Cake Fondant Tool for perfect edges: http://amzn.to/2w0JCVx

Quality, but reasonably priced, concrete mixer: http://amzn.to/2wcC6bZ

RZ dust mask: http://amzn.to/2wM8F1t


TOOLS USED IN PROJECT: 

Dewalt Table Saw: http://amzn.to/2x4igNg
Bosch Drill and Impact Driver: http://amzn.to/2x4duEa 

MUSIC:

Naotko - City life [Deep mix] (ft. tc630, Corsica_S)
Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

NEW Build Video! Simple Way to Turn Scrap Plywood & Leather into a Modern Amazon Echo Stand / Desk Organizer Tray

 

I made this simple modern desk organizer, with a built-in stand for my Amazon Echo Dot, from scrap plywood and a scrap piece of leather.  The plywood was a piece I had leftover from the #kregonesheetcontest.  

This is a really simple build I think anyone could do.  You could make it with only a circular saw, a drill, and a jigsaw if you wanted to.  

Amazon Echo Dot: http://amzn.to/2xNqyOy

3.5" hole saw: http://amzn.to/2wDJD0x

Cordless Router (I love this tool!): http://amzn.to/2fh9Cbx

Oscillating Saw: http://amzn.to/2wDMNBu

Waterlox Finish: http://amzn.to/2wDPp27

To see what I'm working on before build videos are posted, follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/modustrialmaker/?hl=en

Project Updates: Man-Cave Makeover and Cantilevered Live-Edge Table

I always have a couple projects in the pipeline for Modustrial Maker.  Right now I'm working on a man-cave maker with my friend Al, which actually is a few projects in one: reclaimed wood wall, concrete countertops, cabinet install, and LED TV wall.  Here is a quick video of the reclaimed Stikwood wall going up.

I'm also working on a cantilevered live-edge maple table with an angled concrete post as the base.  I haven't seen anyone else make anything quite like it, and am really excited about the design.  The video will be up next week.

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NEW BUILD VIDEO IS UP! DIY White Concrete (GFRC) Table with Live-Edge Maple Inlay

I just posted the build video for my white concrete table with live-edge inlay.  I really like how this project came out -- very simple and modern.  I will be updating my Modustrial Maker website with more details and plans soon.