MAKER DAD: Kids Make the Darndest Things

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One of the humbling parts of introducing students to 3D Printing and CAD is when they come up with something so good that it leaves me standing in quiet admiration. Henry, who is taking the class for the first time, has a natural talent for design. He’s produced some neat little designs in the course learning CAD this semester.

Coming back from Easter Break, Henry brought in his latest creation, The Annoyinator.

As Henry explains it, The Annoyinator is designed to amplify the output of an iPod 5 and make that output directional. The core science is the passive amplification available via an acoustic horn (like an old Victrola) coupled with some directional capabilities. With some help from his dad, an audio guy, Henry took the dimensions of an iPod 5 and started to design.


My iPod 5

Henry wanted a device that would:

  • Securely hold the iPod 5

  • Allow access to the controls

  • Provide passive amplification (look ma, no batteries!)

  • Allow for directional projection of annoying noise


Henry's Annoyinator

The Annoyinator is constructed of several pieces and printed on a Cube II printer. The neon orange color allows for easy location of The Annoyinator in a crowded backpack or desk.

The tolerances and clearances in The Annoyinator are excellent. It holds my iPod snugly and still allows access to the controls.

The design also works in terms of Henry’s audio goals as it amplifies the small internal speaker in the iPod and gives significant directionality to the sounds being played (Henry favors the high-pitched mosquito drone).

The “business end” of The Annoyinator. (The red stand is not part of the design.)

This is just one of many things I love seeing kids make when they have the tools to realize their imagination (as cacophonous as some may be.) Well done, Henry!

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