How to make a “Soundwave” Bluetooth BoomBox


Hey, I’m Bob but I like to make stuff today I’m going to turn my favorite transformer into a Bluetooth boombox This video is sponsored by Dashlane, When I was a kid, I absolutely loved transformers And one of my favorite transformers was Soundwave he was a tape recorder and was the kind of the communications person He always played a lot of music and made a lot of sound so I thought it’d be really cool to take this old toy Scale it up into the size of a boombox and make it into a Bluetooth speaker. Let’s do it. for this project I don’t really care about any of these shapes on the back or the sides. I really just care about the front So we’re gonna take a photo of this toy straight on and then pull it into fusion 360 and trace all of these detailed lines I used fusion 360 to trace this but it’s a CAD program and it’s definitely overkill for what I’m doing here Instead you could use a 2d drawing program and trace these lines over the photo You could use illustrator, which is paid or a free piece of software like Inkscape In both of those programs you end up with a vector scalable image, but in fusion you don’t so I had to use a plug-in from shaper origin that exports all of the sketches in fusion out to an SVG file I’m gonna cut the majority of these lines out on my big CNC But obviously there’s a lot of ways to do this if you don’t have a CNC at your disposal One of the cool things about having all this art as an SVG file is that you can print it out and use it in a bunch of different ways for instance, I printed out the play and stop buttons on this piece of paper full scale And now I can use this as a template to cut out a piece of wood I can use the scroll saw or a band saw or a dremel any number of things to cut out this shape and If you don’t have wood tools, you can put this on a piece of foam and cut it out a foam with a knife The box for this was made out of half-inch MDF I cut out the face on the C&C and then cut down some other strips on the table saw to make the box This is super simple construction, there’s nothing special here at all and it’s all going to be glued and Brad nailed together I got all the pieces cut to size and then added glue before laying everything together They used some Brad nails to hold the pieces to each other, but they weren’t connected to the front yet. I Flipped the entire thing over and then pushed out on the sides to make sure that they were flush with the outside edge of the top before shooting in the nails Luckily MDF does flex a little bit so you can get a pretty nice clean line on the outside edge After that I went back with some wood filler and filled in all of those brad holes We also 3d printed some of the details like the Decepticon logo that was going to go on the front And after the wood filler dried, I just sanded it smooth I’ve got this thing all sanded up and it’s finally starting to look like a boom box, which is really cool The next step is gonna be mounting the speakers on the inside of it Now you could get a DIY Bluetooth speaker kit and actually put the whole thing together yourself But I found these speakers on Amazon and these are actually to be mounted up in the ceiling They’re just normal speakers, but they come with a Bluetooth controller So you just wire the speaker’s right to this controller add power to it. You’re good to go These are made to go in a ceiling so they’re white so that they’ll disappear, but that’s actually not what we want I’m gonna take this grate out. We don’t really need it. I’m also probably gonna paint this black so that it will blend in because on the inside of the box These are gonna be mounted right here and right here and there’s gonna be a black speaker grill cloth in front of it We don’t want to be able to see this stuff through the grill cloth. So we need to black out everything on the inside To measure the inside of the box and then cut down a sheet of quarter inch MDF, so it’d be lighter I traced the opening from the container onto this so that I know where the speakers are gonna actually project from Obviously these are a little bit too big to fit in that opening So I’m going to offset them and just try to get them as close to the center of the opening as possible And this will help me figure out where to place them Then I can mount these to this board and then they will line up with that opening in the front of the box These speakers are made to mount in a ceiling so they’ve got these clamps that you can Drive in a screw from the bottom and it’ll pull this clamp down to hold it in to the ceiling so basically I’m just gonna cut a hole in this board like I would in the ceiling and So I need this circle diameter to cut the right size hole and then we’ll just mount the speakers After putting this panel in here, I need to make some sort of a standoff to hold it in place But not all the way up against this front edge So I’m going to measure in here and see it looks like about one inch is probably good for a standoff Obviously, this is not a really professional speaker build if you’re looking for how to make the best speaker boxes I’m not the person to talk to you All right, I’m trying to figure out how to mount this in here in the best way so that I can you know Get it back out in case I need to before I put it in there though I want to paint this face black so that it will disappear on the inside of the speaker So I’m just gonna mask off the actual cone of the speaker spray paint the rest of it black Thank you I’m going to pre-drill these holes and drive in some screws Just use some tape to hold it in place to make sure that it doesn’t like shift while I’m drilling the holes I did oversize this back panel just a little bit so that once I got it in place I could go back and stay in the edges to make sure that it was perfectly flush on all sides So the next step is to make a small frame that fits inside this opening and that frame will be what the grill cloth is stretched around and So I’m just trying to measure the opening and then I’m going to cut out a separate piece to act as that frame Then we’ll cut out the more negative space in the middle of that frame so that the sound can travel through This video is sponsored by dashlane, which is an online identity protection platform Not only do they help you create and store better passwords But they’ve also got a lot of other features to keep you safe online The dashline premium service provides you with a VPN, so you have secure browsing no matter where you are in the world They’ve also got a dark web monitoring service that lets you know if any of your stored information like passwords or credit cards are being used by anybody other than you I know for me personally dashlane is great because it helps me create better and more unique passwords Plus it helps me not use the same password everywhere because that’s a bad thing So if you want to check out dashlane go to dashlane.com/make and you get 10% off your premium subscription Thanks Dashlane This thing fits in really nicely, but it’s actually a little bit too tight Because it’s going to be wrapped in this black grill cloth and this stuff is not super thin So this needs to wrap around the outside of the frame on both sides So we’re going to do a test fit and figure out how much of this we need to sand off to make it fit really tightly, then after it’s fully sanded. We can paint it black There we go Obviously it’ll be tightened around this frame but that’s pretty good fit and It’s tight enough in there that you can actually pull on the grill cloth To get it tighter in place, which is really cool All right So the good thing here is that it can be tightened with the frame in place So we don’t have to worry about permanently fixing it We can do it when it’s time because next up is painting this thing Last thing before we start painting is to cut a little tiny hole back here to run the power supply through That way it will be hidden on the back side and we won’t have to worry about it MDF really soaks up paint. So I covered this with two coats of primer with a sanding in between before doing the final coat we also modeled and printed a few more small detail pieces to fit on the outside of this After the primer was completely dry, I sanded the whole thing again Now the details on the front of this we’re actually pretty hard to sand down inside So I used some spray adhesive on the back of some sandpaper and wrapped it around a popsicle stick This made for a really thin sanding stick that fit perfectly down inside those grooves Get this thing sanded and brushed off now, we’re gonna put on the first coat of paint and to do that I figured it’s best to wear a brand new hoodie These are in the store if you want one I’ll have them linked down below. I started by spraying the chrome sections first for no particular reason, but as you’ll see later on I should have done this last This kit comes with everything you need to hook up the speakers a little Bluetooth control box with some terminals some speaker wire You don’t even have to cut the wires. They just go right in you screw them down So we’re just going to mount this to the back of this board Plug up the wires and then the audio portion of this should be good to go All right, we’re gonna test this thing out And should just be able to plug it in. All right, it showed up in the Bluetooth settings It has a passcode that comes with it you put in to pair it And it’s paired, that was easy. All right, let’s try it out Cool it’s pretty loud The majority of this thing is the purpley blue color And so I went ahead and sprayed these silver sections now We’re going to mask them off and cover them so that we can paint everything else with one color All right, I think I’ve got everything masked off so I’m just gonna make sure that all the edges are Fully pushed down and then we’re gonna go spray paint this thing blue There’s a couple details on the outside, there’s a little switch here and a little roller here And while the paint is drying on that I’m gonna go ahead and make these I’m gonna make them out of foam so I can just glue them onto the outsides I’ve measured this height and then the height of that little thing and then figured out the proportion of it relative to the size that I’m making and so now I’m just gonna draw that on some foam These didn’t have to be terribly exact. So I just approximated it cut out two pieces and glued them together with some barge cement. I did hold it up to the piece to make sure that it was about the right size before moving on to the next piece The other one was made basically the same way. I just glued on two blocks to the outside to get an oversized shape And then I took it to the sander to smooth it down and get the angles that I wanted A sander, like this works great for beveling the outside edge, but the inside edge was a little bit more difficult Luckily with EVA foam you can get just about any shape you want with utility knife There’s also some little knurling on this switch and I’m gonna make that on the foam By just making several cuts with a knife and then hit it with a heat gun And when you hit foam with the heat gun, the cuts will open up and it’ll look a little bit more like knurling. Oh no! Oh man! Well, apparently this tape is not what I should have used to mask off the silver I don’t know if that’s a condition of the silver not being dry enough which I don’t think it is or it’s just not the right tape, but that’s a bummer For sure, so I guess probably we’re gonna have to do is pull all of this off then once the blue is completely dry and hardened Go back and mask it off sprayed the silver again We’ll see how that goes As I’m trying to figure out how to repaint this I realized that actually didn’t paint two sections blue that need to be blue So while I’m waiting on the rest of this to dry, I’m gonna mask off these areas spray them blue So all of the blue will be finished and then when it’s all dry I can mask off the blue and repaint this over There were also a couple of shoulder pieces that I could have made just like I made the foam pieces For these though, I decided to use MDF I use the same process though I’ve built up the shape overall and then used a sander to get the angles on After those were finished the paint was dry. So I peeled off all the masking tape now the paint job on this turned out Okay, it’s not perfect. But at the scale of this project the small imperfections are really not that noticeable. I used some CA glue to attach the detail pieces to each side and then used a small brush with some black paint to add some more detail painting to the front The toy has several small pieces of text on it and to do that I decided to use a vinyl cutter I’ve got a pretty inexpensive one and it’s great for making custom stickers of all types But if you don’t have one and you don’t wanna invest in one most sign shops will make of small stickers like this for you pretty inexpensively That’s a great option. Especially if you only need one or two Another great thing about these vinyl stickers is that if you mess up you can peel it off and do it again After the text was done, I attached all the 3d printed pieces with CA glue Next it was time to put in the grill cloth I could have just wrapped it around this frame but I needed a place to attach the Decepticon logo to So I cut down another scrap of MDF and glued it right up the center of the frame Then I attached the grill cloth wrapping it around the outside edge and using staples to hold it in place This works great because you can tighten it as you go And after that, it slipped right into the opening of the front of the boom box from there I just had to glue on the Decepticon logo add the shoulder buttons put the back on and finish up the rest of the details The last little detail on this is to put on this small piece of trim that goes around the outside of the window and There’s a little marking on the inside and I think to do that I’m gonna cut down some two millimeter craft foam and spray paint it gold then just glue it onto the surface This foam is really lightweight so spraying it would just blow it all over the place I laid one end of it on some tape and then taped that to the surface that helped keep it in place a lot while spraying it gold I did the same for these really small detail pieces And while that paint was drying I glued on the last pieces to the front Those went on with CA glue as well, then it was time to put on the trim onto the front of the tape player There’s a bunch of different ways to put this on I decided to use spray adhesive because it wouldn’t be permanent I could make adjustments if I needed to and it was just cleaner and easier to put on I Laid these pieces a little bit long in place and trim them off with a utility knife to make them fit and get the angles correct And here it is sound wave is all complete this is one of my favorite characters So it’s really cool to have a giant version of it here and we can listen to music while we play ping pong this project turned out really cool in a bunch of different ways and I got to use a bunch of different types of materials and Processes on it, but you could actually use any one of those processes to do the entire thing You could CNC all of this or 3d print all of this or use foam for the entire thing or do it all with the scroll saw in fact one of the cool alternatives to use in the CNC for the face of this would be cutting all of these pieces out and gluing them on top of A solid sheet. There’s a bunch of different ways to accomplish the same thing The speaker system also worked out really well and is super loud and it’s a great option if you don’t actually want to go through The process of building an entire speaker kit. It does have to be plugged in which is not a huge deal for me But if you wanted to take it with you and actually have it as a boombox There’s plenty of room on the inside of this to add battery power and you can even put a small sound effects chip in it So you could play some transformer sounds we did that on the Optimus Prime gun and on the custom horn that I put in my truck, we will link those videos if you Want to check them out if you want to see some other project videos. I’ve got tons of them so go over there and check those out and if you’re not subscribed be sure to do that and hit the bell so you get Notified as soon as I upload, that’s it for this one guys. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time I wasn’t really concerned about cluh, blaerh bleh! check check check Go and for that I’m gonna use some pre bought some pre some pre back

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100 thoughts on “How to make a “Soundwave” Bluetooth BoomBox

  1. If you weren't going to make it transform, you could've done a better job making the whole thing look more like the original

  2. Awesome build! That'd be awesome to have a room for these props. First the Prime Blaster and now a Soundwave boombox? Too good!

  3. Cool video! Wish I was this good at making things. Upvoted because those scene transitions are amazing and every video with Soundwave is superior. 😉

  4. Step 2: Build a Scale Model of the Matrix of Leadership that plays 'The Touch' and glows when you pull the two halves apart.

  5. Ironic how he turns the tape recorder into a Boombox it ignores the already existing Boombox Transformer

  6. MDF???? How heavy is that thing? Also, it’s not a Decepticon LOGO. They weren’t running around with branded T-shirts on… 😂😂. Symbol or insignia… 😃

  7. Can you make a transformer that is starscream with ur own choice materiels..
    Will u read this or not???

  8. you forgot the red parts, and the giant tape in the inside. :O I thought forsure you would of made the red parts on it the place for the speakers sound to escape.

  9. 10 years ago I built my "soundwave". The challenge of the project is the dimension because need to design first the "tape" with the speakers and after the box. Second, is the coloring. Bob made a great job but the effort is still clearly visible. Third, it is the power, diffferent power source require different size of space.

    I would share my experience too to help the audience to make better.

  10. Anyone in the comments have time to answer a question? Where would I get a kit of the speakers that can be charged? Instead of plugged in?

  11. What about those red and black decals on either side, they look kinda plain without them? Don’t misunderstand me, it looks amazing, and if you made more I’d definitely buy one! You should consider making the Autobots’ version “Blaster”, you know for symmetry.

  12. Once i get the 5 million dollar plastic toy, i will figure out its transforming secrets, and get supplies, i will make a giant bluetooth transforming boombox

  13. since you already have the svg… any chance you could share the file?
    I would really like to try this one on a smaller scale.

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