Acoustabowl: From Idea to Reality

Michael Williams, Shapeways forum moderator, had an idea one day…

It started one slow day at work. I wanted to sit my phone in a way that I could see the screen, charge it, and listen to a podcast. I set it up against my scanner, and the charger would make it fall over. When I put the phone in a cup I instantly noticed the sound being amplified. I could see the screen, hear the phone, and charge it! But I could not touch the screen as practically half the phone was in the cup. So I looked for something I could put my phone in that would solve this. I put it in a bowl, and was instantly sold. 

shapeways bowl

So I decided to prototype my design using 123D Make. I tried some different versions and even made a paper model. I ended up making one out of cardboard using the stacked slices option. This option will make a fully solid model. So you will have more pieces to cut, but if you are using scissors as I was, it will make it so you do not have interlocking pieces that would be hard to cut out. After a few hours of cutting the paper, tracing onto the cardboard, cutting the cardboard, and hot gluing the cardboard, I had my prototype! 

It worked great! With my prototype I noticed I was not able to hook up my charger while it was in the Acoustabowl. So I raised up the stand, and moved it out so that it would still hold phones leaning back and would now be able to hook up a charger.

I 3D modelled two versions for two different materials and ordered in Glossy Black Ceramic and Polished Alumide. Now I have 2 sweet phone stands for smooth music listening! 

Check out the video to see the prototype progression and hear the Acoustabowl in action…and get one for yourself in his Shapeways Shop!


  1. Bidouille

    Hey, great trick and nice usage of 3d printing.
    Just love it !
    Can I feature it on my french website ?

  2. Youknowwho4eva

    Hey Bidouille, I tried to email you but don’t know if you got it. I’d love the Acoustabowl to be featured! email me at to let me know what your thinking, and let me know if you need any more info.

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