SketchUp Free for Speaker Cabinet Design

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
I started trying to play around with some CAD programs last year...
...but was quickly stymied. I started with FreeCAD which was highly recommended online only to find that learning it was a bit on the challenging side. I've had some previous CAD and Drafting experience which I thought should help me along. Sadly, no, and that discouraged me and I put off playing and learning for a while too long.
Now that I'm closer still to my planned Subwoofer build, I started feeling the urgency again. This time, I decided to look again at SketchUp. I had been turned off initially by the period that it was a Google product. And also by the cost if I wanted full functionality. Being the silly human I am, I didn't really research the option very well as it stopped being a Google property years ago, and the Free online App is quite useful.
I don't know yet if it will allow me to create a file compatible for CNC shops, but that is a problem I can solve another day.
In the meantime, without spending any time learning anything, I was able to start creating the simple panels that would make up a Speaker Cabinet. Over most of the afternoon, I stumbled my way through and successfully modeled everything for a simple Subwoofer Cabinet.
That night, I watched a few videos and learned some things I did wrong, and the next day I went back and started anew. This time I modeled a simple Subwoofer Cabinet in about 2 hours.
I have not included any bracing yet as I wanted to keep this pretty simple and just look at the panels I would likely handle and cut manually.

This design is based on the SI SQL-15 Driver. Cabinet is ~4cu.ft internal volume measuring 16x22.5x18". It is not my intention to build this design but I had to start playing somewhere.
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
One thing that interested me recently were the Push-Pull designs from Perlisten and M&K. My next task was stepping up complexity a little.
My ultimate plan does involve a Dual Driver build, so I chose to look at using those SQL-15s in a Sealed Push-Pull Design.
As the cabinet tune requires 4cu.ft per Driver, this is ~8cu.ft internal volume (18x30x24"). As above, I left any Bracing out of this stage of my learning.
This was my initial panel layout; fairly rough. I had to make several modifications as I went along.
Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 3.57.21 PM.jpg


The Side panels ended up having a Blind Dado. In this version, I designed the Cabinet sides to be one piece instead of building a cabinet on legs with aprons. This may make finishing easier, but I suspect the rest of this build would be a little more challenging.
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Here is the "final assembly:"
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As above, not likely I will follow through and build this particular design... just something to play with.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
I played around with that last concept, the Sealed Push-Pull from above. I wanted to redo as a more practical project if I were to build. I changed the orientation to be wider, more shallow.

I included a Brace concept based on the idea that the corners do not need the additional support of conventional Window Bracing. This helps minimize material and most importantly, weight. All Bracing is no further than ~8" from the next brace point.

Exterior dimensions with feet are 26.5"w x 47"h x 20"d. Internals of this roughly 8cu.ft cabinet are 25"x18"x34".

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Anyway... Fun with modeling! :D Still, a large and imposing box.

What I really need to do is see what comes up when I start modeling the 20cu.ft Dual Driver Vented Cabinet!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I tried a trial of that long ago and never got anywhere as into the details possible as you! Bravo! Now to build it :)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
I tried a trial of that long ago and never got anywhere as into the details possible as you! Bravo! Now to build it :)
3 of those in my little room would be pretty potent. I would still prefer vented to sealed, though. ;) And of course... I am still interested in seeing what a TL with these drivers might do!

I'm gonna be at the lumber yard in the next week or two and will get to check in on local MDF pricing.... HD and Lowes are just under $60 per sheet right now. The local yard is a little higher usually, but a better grade of MDF.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
3 of those in my little room would be pretty potent. I would still prefer vented to sealed, though. ;) And of course... I am still interested in seeing what a TL with these drivers might do!

I'm gonna be at the lumber yard in the next week or two and will get to check in on local MDF pricing.... HD and Lowes are just under $60 per sheet right now. The local yard is a little higher usually, but a better grade of MDF.
Time to start building. There is no substitute for real world experience. It is long past time for you to get your feet wet.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
3 of those in my little room would be pretty potent. I would still prefer vented to sealed, though. ;) And of course... I am still interested in seeing what a TL with these drivers might do!

I'm gonna be at the lumber yard in the next week or two and will get to check in on local MDF pricing.... HD and Lowes are just under $60 per sheet right now. The local yard is a little higher usually, but a better grade of MDF.
If all HD stores sell the same sheet goods, I would recommend passing on them- I have had terrible problems with their lumber in general and their sheet goods in particular. The plywood I bought and cut for a box of drawers for my garage turned into a pile of potato chips overnight and the 2x4s I bought for some framing turned into skis again, overnight- I stacked and stickered them, as required, but they weren't dried properly, so....

When I returned the 2x4s, the clerk asked what was wrong with them and this was BEFORE COVID. Absolutely mind-boggling.....

I don't have a Lowes close to my house, but I decided that after using Menard's MDF-ish crap and HD's garbage, I'm done with big box lumber, so I go to the company that has been here since about 1906 (if not longer) and where my mom worked when she came to MKE in 1946 and I worked after high school as a Summer job- the better builders, remodelers and contractors use their lumber because it's better- not worth the problems from saving a bit of money and most of the time, it's not cheaper at the big box.

It's good to see that this company is still thriving- none of the other lumber companies that existed before 1990 are in business and this one has actually added two locations since 2000.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
For those who might consider particle board for speakers- it can be a good choice and many, many speaker companies have used it over the years but the quality for this application isn't what it was in the past (pre-1990-ish), so make sure it's thick, glued in layers and mechanical fasteners are used. I built a pair of cabinets and one was dropped on a concrete floor. Aside from a small bit of damage to one corner, it just bounced- no other damage.

I showed the chipped carbide on my Freud dado set to the guy I go to for blade sharpening and when I told him what I had been cutting (particle board with melamine on one side), he said "Particle board is the hot dog of lumber products".
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
EEK! :eek:

MDF at the local Hardware store is over $80 per 4x8' x .75"! Supposed to be a better quality than:
Lowes and Home Depot are just under $60.

Baltic Birch 18mm x 5x5' is ~$130 per sheet. Sounds like I can get a slightly better price if I ask nicely.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
For a full range speaker enclosure, MDF is ideal because of its density and lower resonant frequency.
However, for a subwoofer cabinet, the Baltic birch plywood is the better material as its higher resonance is above the operating frequencies of the driver. Other advantages are a sturdier box and a slightly lower weight for same thickness.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
I was shocked a bit to see the MDF up so high, whereas the BB is down about $50 per sheet from last time I checked.
Since I'm talking large Subs, BB is the direction I'd like to go.

I need to finalize a plan and get a cut-optimizer working to see what I'll need.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
I was shocked a bit to see the MDF up so high, whereas the BB is down about $50 per sheet from last time I checked.
Since I'm talking large Subs, BB is the direction I'd like to go.

I need to finalize a plan and get a cut-optimizer working to see what I'll need.
A requirement with BB plywood is that your cutting tools need to be sharp. This material is really hard.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
A requirement with BB plywood is that your cutting tools need to be sharp. This material is really hard.
I have carbide blades from Diablo, IIRC. Including a good Finishing blade I haven't used previously which I bought with cutting Cabinet Panels in mind. :D
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
I have carbide blades from Diablo, IIRC. Including a good Finishing blade I haven't used previously which I bought with cutting Cabinet Panels in mind. :D
When I built my wall unit with maple veneered plywood, I used a Diablo 10" combination blade with about a .1" kerf and laser cut. Have to go home and check but the tooth count might have been as low as 50. Edges were very clean and smooth with no chip out unless I tried to rip something too narrow (under 1"). Handled 5/8" ply very well with no burned edges. I kept the blade height low (a little above the top surface) so that the teeth cut at an angle to prevent tear out at the bottom. For any Skill saw cuts I used a Diablo blade made for plywood and again kept the cut shallow to prevent cutting at 90' to avoid tear out.
 
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annunaki

annunaki

Moderator
Diablo blades work great on BB. I am building some "lockers" for our entry way out of 3/4" BB AA grade ply. The 60 tooth blade have worked extremely well with no chip out and super smooth cuts on my table saw. I also have used their plywood/finish blade and that is even better.
 
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