Polymate3D as a project was started on 14th April 2016 with the first design made in Sketchup of all things. This was a very poor driver, but the concept was unknown. This led to the FD61 project. A multiyear process off iteration and documentation.
You can download a PDF which documents the key stages below if you are interested in how this all started:
After all this work, a Kickstarter was launched and failed as well. I was however seen by hackaday!
I was very unknown at this stage and had nothing prior to back up what I was offering, so I took this knowledge, created a much more simple motor, and FD51 was born!
With 750 downloads on Printables.com and being shown on Prusalive on Youtube, FD51 is still the most popular design I have made to date. Compared to later stuff it is very basic, but it showed me that people are interested.
You can watch the interview done by Prusalive below (@31:00):
After a few iterations of FD51, I moved onto a woofer which uses the same motor to try and squeeze out some extra bass response. Performance was improved by creating a 2 way, but the complexity was increased.
This then led to Tenacious 6. A driver with a size between the previous 2, and with some tweaks to the motor was capable of delivering more power and better bass response than WF81 could. It became clear at this stage however, that the motor would have to change. There was one last driver to come though…
FD52 came in 2 versions, and where the swansong for this motor. It was a straight swap out for the popular FD51 driver, improving across the board to the original.
Tom even gave this one a go himself. Check out his video and his experience!
Based upon FD61s motor, this new motor simplified it to reduce cost whilst attempting to keep as much power as possible. The printed capsule is now gone, and performance of the motor is 3x what was used with FD51.
The result of this was Tenacious 6 Mk2. It took what was good from tenacious 6, and adapted it to this new motor. The result was a driver which was much closer to hifi standard. There was however issues with distortion at higher volume levels, and a can of worms was about to be unleashed!
Grant of 3D Musketeers was nice enough to give these a run himself. Check out what he felt about these!
Baroque 8. A driver that is still not complete after 2 years. This driver looks great and can sound great too, but I noticed at this stage that magnet motor strength was very irratic, and distortion at higher volumes was still way higher than industry drivers. So I stopped development of speakers, and focused my skills and my sources of parts
Over a year and 6 different suppliers, I found consistancy of magnets to be terrible. The magnets in the image here are suppose to be the same! Strength also varied wildly. This ultimately lead me to my current supplier, and why I STRONGLY suggest buying the kit direct. I cannot verify how yours will turn out without this!
On top of this, the suspension system was also worked on. I learnt how to simulated these designs and then test in the real world on the same single driver to see what works. It was effectively FD61 all over again at a higher level.
After a lengthy research stage, Micro & Micro+ where the first drivers to be made to use some of this new development in all areas.
The result was distortion levels being better than a Logitech set of speakers, and capable of more bass output in the same size.
After this, more research continued and testing against better speaker drivers started. 14 prototypes later, Fidelity 7 was born.
Fidelity 7 matches or outperforms speaker drivers which cost in excess of £80 a pair. In finished cabinets this would exceed £400.
So there is more to come, but Fidelity 7 achieve my goal of matching industry performance drivers.
None of this would of been possible without my Patreon supporters, so I want to say thank you so much for letting me get this far. I will keep pushing that bar forwards into 2023, where Baroque will come back and push me to my limit.
And for all of you considering jumping in, know that this is not a quickly made model here or gimmick. It is a true alternative to industry drivers with high levels of customisation, and reusable parts making it a more sustainable option as well.
Your investment goes into continuing the 6+ year development and will deliver a quality end product.
Hope you have enjoyed the read. Let the journey continue!