3D-printed gramophone-style amplifier gives your Echo Dot a vintage overhaul

amazon echo gramophone 3d printing alexa speaker vintage

There is something kind of steampunk about tech that brings together old and new worlds. Clearly, we’re not the only ones who are suckers for this type of thing, either, since Florida-based “maker” Bard Fleistad recently debuted a popular new retro-styled Amazon Echo accessory on Thingiverse. And it can be yours provided you have access to a 3D printer.

Called the Gramazon (you know, like a combination of “gramophone” and “Amazon”), it’s an acoustic amplifier designed for Amazon’s Echo Dot. It works on the same principle as old gramophones, with a horn attachment which amplifies the sound of your miniature smart Alexa speaker.

“The speaker is based on the old radio horn speakers from the early 20th century,” Fleistad told Digital Trends. “I’ve always been fascinated by the sleek and elegant design of these speakers, and regarded them as pieces of functional art. Over the years, it became a goal for me to obtain one of these, and if needed, restore it to working order. However, like so many other items from this bygone era, they have become fairly hard to come by these days, and the ones you do find usually fetch fairly high prices. Justifying spending hundreds of dollars on obtaining one was not something I was able to do, so I eventually gave up on the idea.”

Or, at least, it was something he gave up on until he got into 3D printing in 2017. Sitting on YouTube one evening this winter, Fleistad said that a video of a radio horn speaker popped up in his “suggested videos” feed. “I had one of those ‘Hey, I have a 3D printer, I can make that now!’ moments, and began sketching out some ideas for a homemade Bluetooth speaker,” he said. “During the process of modeling the horn itself, I happened to glance over at my Echo Dot sitting at the corner of my desk, and had another one of those lightbulb moments. Rather than sourcing a Bluetooth receiver and other hardware, I figured I could simply attach the horn to the Echo.”

Fleistad printed his finished piece using a Monoprice Maker Select 3D printer, and quickly decided to share the instructions with the wider “maker” community to let others build their own versions.

“Taking on a printing project like this can scary if you haven’t printed anything this large before,” he said. “But when you break the project into its individual parts, it’s not that scary. It just takes time. I’d say that if you have the patience to start it, anyone can make one.”

Product Review

You don't need Alexa in your microwave, but you'd be surprised what she can do

Amazon has added to its long portfolio of products with the AmazonBasics Microwave, a small appliance that works with Alexa. We took the microwave for a test drive to find out more.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Amazon HQ2(s), Indiegogo’s CEO, and Chris Bevans of Dyne

DT Daily's host Greg Nibler discussed headlines including Amazon's HQ2s and Twitter possibly getting an edit button. We also brought on the CEO of Indigogo and the creative director of Dyne.
Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.