Wave Driver

Mechanical Wave Driver

The second attempt of assembling a chladni plate using a basic instructable tutorial. The machine consists of a speaker stripped down to it membrane that attaches to the coil. An aluminum saucer is then applied around the coil and adhered to the plastic. Through the saucer is inserted an 1/4″ rod for the plate to sit on. Spacers are then added to keep the rod steady. The cables are then attached and plugged into an amp which is then triggered by an external source.

Instructable Link: Here


1100 Gauge Aluminum

6.5″ One Way Speaker

Epoxy Putty

Acrylic 1/4″

Steel Rod 1/4″

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Our results were much more clear than previous attempts had been.


We discovered the appropriate amount of sand to use via trial and error.


Too little sand.


Too much sand


This attempt was made using flour. We believed that the material’s lightness would make it more responsive at high frequency, but it scattered or clumped instead.


Chladni Touch-Ups

After several testings, the results of our DIY chladni plate weren’t sufficient and consistent enough. In order to create a better suited machine we needed a direct connection from the plate into the copper coiling of the speaker. This changed the assembly of our machine greatly. The machine built previously was making a physical connection with the membrane reverberating off of the insulated sound created by the speaker.




Here are a series of videos that display the machine reacting to different materials at different tones.


To achieve the new assembly we dissected a speaker to find the copper coil that vibrates the membrane create sound.

After removing the membrane the coil separated from the magnet.

In order to create a larger volume of vibration between the copper coil and the magnet we added additional coiling and plastic tubing.

Chladni Material study:

To further our exploration with the cymatic materials we invested the effects of oil, water and ink further to find artifacts.





This week we decided to explore building a Chladni plate for testing basic Cymatic frequencies and sound patterns.Some background information and images:

“Ernst Chladni was a German physicist and musician. His most important work, for which he is sometimes labeled the father of acoustics, included research onvibrating plates and the calculation of the speed of sound for different gases. One of Chladni’s best-known achievements was inventing a technique to show the various modes of vibration of a rigid surface. When resonating, a plate or membrane is divided into regions that vibrate in opposite directions, bounded by lines where no vibration occurs (nodal lines).” – Wikipedia

19th Century Chladni Plate:


Contemporary Chladni Plate with Vibration Generator



Brass Box

In an attempt to create a basic machine we constructed a box with a sheet of brass that laid on top. Underneath was a sub-woofer that vibrated the metal.

What we learned:

The vibrations were maintained unevenly among the plate.

Only low frequencies were available that limited select material.

The looseness of the brass caused inconsistent patterns.

Very difficult to level and create a even surface