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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Hi there, I'm new here. I've read all the posts that hint at 3d printing in general and these models in particular:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:216208/

I've been 3d printing for several years now, and I've actually printed these models, as well as some other flutes and whistles, many times. For the most part they're actually pretty awesome. I've used them on studio recordings, played them live at shows, and given them as gifts.

But to date, I've really just printed them, sorta-tuned them, and that's it. There are some flaws in the 3d printing process that sometimes result in odd behavior when the whistle is played, and I'd like some advice and info on how to deal with that.

The biggest practical issue I run into is this: At the six-hole fingering position, very often one of these whistles will only be playable with a very slight blow. If you blow with anything close to as strong as you would on a PVC, bamboo, or tin whistle (or mass-produced plastic ones), it'll either overblow or just not properly split the flow at all and you get no note. Once you lift the bottom finger, at 5-holes and up there's a bit more tolerance for normal blowing, and then it gets difficult again after the first register break.

I've had 50/50 success at making this better-but-not-good by gently sanding or filing the blade, but this is all just guesswork. Are there any good procedures or iterative refinement processes I might try to really get to the bottom of what qualities in the print are causing the imperfections, and how to have more consistent quality in the tone?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Location: Kings Mills, OH
Maybe you have an air leak. I built a 3D printer from scratch a few years ago and have been perfecting my 3D Low Whistle design using OpenScad.
Put a light on the opposite and see how much light gets through and possibly see if there are any tiny openings.
Of course, I'm only making the headjoint, not the entire whistle.

I use about 30% infill and I also print with ABS. The ABS material can be vapor polished using acetone vapors, this makes sure that the small pores of spacing between the layers will close up properly.
I use the English made E3D-V6 print head which my opinion is the most reliable print head.

Also, do you have a chamfer at the exit end of the windway, there should be a small chamfer to allow the windsheet to expand.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:06 pm 
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I looked at one of my sopraninos that has the nastiest instance of this problem, and it does indeed have a slight leak on the side between the 4th and 3rd holes. It's PLA, which I can sometimes smooth with MEK, but I'd rather not do that with something I'm going to put in my mouth. I'll try some cyanoacrylate on that leak and see if it helps.

I have printed lots of these in ABS, and vapor polishing does indeed stop the leaks, but I still have some slight issues with the air tolerance on a few of those. Larger whistles seem to have this problem less. I've recently added a Creality CR-10 S5 to my inventory, so I can print objects 500mm on any axis. This means I can now print whistles in one piece instead of multiple parts that have to be acetone-glued together, but since I haven't built an enclosure yet ABS is a little tricky to use on this one.

There is a slight chamfer on both the end of the windway and the blade, and when I gently file them to be more severe it seems to help a tiny bit. I'll try to perfect that as well.

Thanks for all your input!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:46 am 
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Location: Clifton Park, NY
I don't know anything about 3D printing but as a whistle maker I can tell you that very tiny variations in the dimensions of the sound producing part of a whistle can make a huge difference.
Is the "plug" an integral part of the printed part or something inserted after printing? One way to solidify the lower notes is to put a bit of a bevel at the edge of the plug where it exits the windway. Start with a tiny amount of bevel and increase bit by bit. Too much and the second octave will be difficult. The pictures make me think that the plug is integral, but you could scrape some bevel in with the tip of an xacto blade.
With a separate plug, you could also push it out a tiny bit but again the high notes may suffer. Voicing a whistle is a delicate dance of dimensions.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:51 am 
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I posted a rather long reply, addressing specific input, but it was either eaten by internet gremlins or rejected by an admin. Short version: Thanks so much for all the input, you guys are helping out a ton.

If my post doesn't magically show up again, I'll try to piece it back together after work today.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
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Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
brewerpaul wrote:
...a delicate dance of dimensions.

There's your title when you write your book on whistle making.

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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