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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:15 pm 
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Location: Kingston WA
Well this may come as a shock to many Chiff and Fipple members, and others who Would peg me into a specific cubbyhole based on their own orthodoxies. I have some important news to share:

In early 2020, assuming prototyping succeeds, I hope to produce my popular Folk Flute Flute model as a 3-D Printed Version only. This flute will still be available in all my current hand sizes and orientations, and will still be carefully hand-tuned and voiced individuall. Once the 3-D Printed versions take off (hopefully February 2020) , these will no longer be available in Blackwood, Boxwood or other woods. Training is underway with my new apprentice and she may decide otherwise once she takes over production of this model sometime in mid/late 2020. She is still coming to terms with the entire concept and is somewhat rattled. I plan to keep her on her toes throughout her tutorial!

This plan all assumes that my efforts to manufacture these in 3-D plastic actually work and produce a flute that plays as well as my wooden version. I should know by the end of the year. There are other flute-specific reasons that I will reveal later for taking off in the 3-D direction.

You may be shocked that I am considering plastics at all, given what I have said about Delrin over the years. I still do not like Delrin and abhor the material, finding it harder for me to work than wood (I keep my tooling too dull to use it easily) and other reasons. If anyone delved deeper into my flute making past however, they would find that I have never been all out Anti-plastic. I was one of the early promoters for GPS Agencies' Alternative Ivories made from Polyester Resins. An article I wrote back in 1992 about making plastic bagpipe reeds from #6 Yogurt Containers (Polystyrene) still surfaces to the Internet occasionally.

The assumption that I would never consider plastic is incorrect. I've been following the evolution of 3-D Printing since its inception and feel that it has finally reached a point in evolution where I can adopt it without too much fuss. Machines with enough resolution for my purposes are now available as standalone units, as opposed to ones that you have to sort out yourself and build. The software integration has also finally evolved. One doesn't have to sort out interfaces etc. and be a computer programmer neither. There will always be tweaking involved as with any method as there are with lathes and milling machines. I also have a few tricks up my sleeve.

There are a few 3-D printed wind instruments of other types on the market and some of these appear quite nice. There are individuals who know much about 3-D printing who have no understanding how a tone hole works along with any artistic sense frankly, as well as great instrument makers who can barely navigate around their PC computer. I am hoping to be the happy balanced medium between these two surfaces. In addition to the Folk Flute, I have already announced a 3-D printed "go to" mouth-blown Musette de Cour (bellows aren't necessary), and have another secret project in mind that will benefit by a few parts made with this technology. I am also threatening the world with an inexoecnsive 3-D Printed Biniou.

I am just recovering from my knee replacement operation, one week old as of yesterday, and will be spending much of November and December developing my techniques. Thus I do not have time and desire to share my discoveries here for now, except with my close associates and apprentice. I will be rolling out the new website come January if all goes well. The healing goes well although right at this moment I hurt. Am currently trying to ramp off the Oxycodone as it gives me narcolepsy. I have too much to do to fall asleep unexpectedly. I did not spend even a moment watching the hearings. I am working in the Eclipse opera however and that has taken a huge leap forward. I plan to have that ready to pitch in January when I go to Austin to see my friend Craug Verm perform in the opera Everest.

I will still be making flutes by hand out of select woods. However, the plan is to stop taking orders for these instruments, except for the new Folk Flute and a few items in development, and only take names down for a non-committal waiting list.This way I will have a little more control as to my artistic direction. It will also become impossible to pester me with delivery estimate requests and those that do so will be dropped from the list of waiting clients or simply put down at the bottom. More on this when I launch my new website.

Cheers!

Casey

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38 Years as a Flute Maker!
Coming Soon: An Ergonomic Low G flute!
http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com
http://www.folkflutes.com


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:12 am 
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I have a 3D printed whistle and I don’t love it. It works, but the material is rough and relatively fragile. It sound s fine, but it’s not really a pleasure to play. I understand there are lots of kinds of 3D printing though

Good luck, looking forward to hearing about it


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:10 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Good on you Casey! I have been thinking about 3D printing flutes for some time. I think the machine have evolved enough precision and resolution now. There is also a wide abundance of printing materials now, not just the pink plastic for making novelty chess pieces.

I believe 3D printing in heavy carbon fibre loaded material is ideal for keys, by the way, and it is something I am looking into. What a lot of work that would save.

I have two of your wonderful flutes and I believe you are a master of understanding tone hole subtleties. I am sure if you combine this precious experience with 3D technologies you can make superb printed instruments.

I wish you all the best in this endeavour, and I am a strong supporter of this idea.

Re 'plastic', such a horrid and misused term, the Guo flutes are highly regarded in tone - they use various composites which are excellent, but the composition of which is unknown to me.

Andrew

[Not currently a flute maker, but seriously considering entering the 3D printing world for flutes.]


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:12 am 
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Location: Kingston WA
The plastics involved are what surprised me. Resolution of printing always gets better but if the underlying plastic is worthless, its a no go. I checked the density of the PLA plastic that is commonly used and its right up there with Blackwood - actually about 4% heavier. There way be some post finishing required but that is aways the case. This technology is still in its infancy - what was current a year ago such as the whistle described above may be far from the case now. Thus I plan to reserve judgement (and full embracement of this technology) until I see the results!

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38 Years as a Flute Maker!
Coming Soon: An Ergonomic Low G flute!
http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com
http://www.folkflutes.com


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:17 am 
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Hi Casey,

Look at Ultimaker. They supply 11 different types of materials, above and beyond simple PLA.

https://ultimaker.com/materials

Not mentioned there is carbon fibre, actually very heavily loaded composite material, but effectively carbon fibre.

Not particularly relevant maybe, but there are at least four techniques now for 3D printing silver, for complex jewellery, for example (and methinks, keys for flutes).

Andrew


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:24 am 
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 1:37 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
The website

https://all3dp.com/

is an amazing resource for state of the art 3D printing. It leaves me breathless every week with reporting on progress.

There's even the technology now for 3D printing skin, for wound treatment, with human skin cells.

Andrew


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