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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:12 am 
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I know a few of you folks by now must have tried 3D printing. Perhaps even of intrument parts and/or related accoutrements. Please share your experiences/gripes/happy dances in this thread, because I for one would like to read them.

I've got some ideas about instrument holders that attach to stands, pick holders that attach to instruments, and myriad other things before I even get around to printing anything that directly affects the sound of an instrument.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:37 am 
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No doubt about it, 3D printing is about to transform the way we think about stuff and the way we make things. I got into this through my children. I have a systems engineering and design background. I get along with software. I like to dabble with hardware. I like machines - computers, bicycles, lathes, mills, pantographs, etc. So I knew I would eventually collide with the world of 3D printing. I took a rapid prototyping course at the local community college. Waste of money and time. I could go into details but I won't. It helped me set some expectations though.

My younger son is a Bio-engineer. He's a bit more future world in his thinking than I may be. He's all about materials science and making replacement body parts or scaffolding to grow the parts on. So he gets to play with 3D printers at times. He has a friend that owns a couple of Makerbots. They happen to be a successful commercial designer. The Makerbots produce product prototypes and show design feasibility to customers. They use the MBs like most of us would use an inkjet printer.

I presently make whistles using 19th century methods mostly - lathes, files, etc. We started with one of my whistles and I made a software model/drawing of the whistle head. Sent that to the friend with the printers. Should work, right? Many attempts. Some were rather amusing. Blade quality, ramp finish and alignment are recurring issues. We have also printed out some designs of simple whistle pipes that others have drawn up on the web. We saw the same issues with the printed versions of those that we saw with my design. It is not the drawing that is at fault. I know I can redesign the whistle head to make it more consistent with the printer's strengths but that would not be the point. The result would not look, sound or perform as I want it to. So we'll keep trying but I am on to other methods and technologies at the moment.

You can view videos of people that have made recorders with 3D printers. Those are successful in part because of the substantial dimensions of a recorder. Most I have seen are scanned replications of classic commercial recorders printed on high dollar commercial printers. MIT has the video of the Boehm flute they produced entirely on their printers. We visited their labs a few years ago. I'll never have the finances to buy or have access to a printer like theirs. I'd like to scan a decent wooden flute and see if it can be replicated and how well it would play. While the dimensions of a flute are critical, the size and scale of the parts is better suited to 3D printing than is a whistle.

3D printing will continue to smolder in the back of my brain. I can still use 3D printing to produce models for making molds of individual parts like rings, keys, ferrules - more like a step towards the jewelry smithing part of instrument making . I do think that 3D printing will do the whole job at some point. I keep reading about the military grade metal printers and such. Resolution, strength and fine detail are all there but at a price. That price will come down and the materials quality and print resolution will increase as more and more people adopt the technology at the consumer end of the price spectrum. I just may be too old to make use of it by then.

I have a good friend and fellow musician (and hobbyist luthier) who is also a retired industrial design engineer. His experience in computer controlled fabrication is very deep and quite current. He's helping me with requirements for shop technology at the moment. 4D CNC milling and laser cutting/marking/engraving are the current topics of discussion. We have a few instrument projects that we would both like to undertake. We're looking for common ground in how we would build things at the moment which has a direct bearing on technology priorities. We'll see what comes of it.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:16 am 
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Nice to see that someone started this thread. My experience with 3d printing goes back about five years. I've made a few items that I'm proud of. A very nice duck call for a friend that rivals his $250 custom piece comes to mind. I used that as a learning exercise to make a whistle of course. First I tried a basic flute, more like a high D fife to be truthful. It came out playable and pretty well in tune but it was no better than a hand made one out of pvc in terms of the hand tuning I had to do afterwards which still produced an instrument that wasn't even close to Jem's $30 pvc fife (shipping included). Then I tried a whistle but after several failures I came to the conclusion that anything I could afford would not have high enough resolution and accuracy to produce a windway/fipple/blade that didn't require quite a lot of manual work afterward. Since in the end, they required quite a lot of handwork still, a skill which I haven't yet mastered, I gave up. Then I bought a new printer.

My new printer is a makerbot replicator 2 which certainly has the specs to produce the necessary tolerances but I think my drawings may need to be redone from those I used on my older rep rap device. I've tried using both ABS and PLA as materials, the PLA seems better so far. I used my Hudson Winds d whistle as a model but it could very well be that my measurements are not as accurate as they could be and some specs are very difficult to measure. Finish of the blade edge would be one as would the angle of the fipple edge relief at the window or the taper of the windway windway are just a few. So more tweaking is necessary to my drawings but so far I've printed three and only this last one, done about three weeks ago, will play an even passable low octave but nothing else. The finger holes seem fine, though I'm not certain of that either.

I imagine it's the same problem as when you have a software engineer writing accounting software. Since they don't understand accounting, they write crappy software. I'll likely need to make at least a couple of really nice whistles first and who knows how long that will take.

I did originally try to use the whistle head at this link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20948 It's pretty clunky (read butt-ugly), not very well designed and doesn't play any better than mine.

I'm going to try this one over the holiday and see if it's better than mine: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:45142

Let's keep the dialog going.

ecohawk

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:09 pm 
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ecohawk wrote:
I've tried using both ABS and PLA as materials, the PLA seems better so far.
Good to hear that the PLA works a bit better than the ABS on the Makerbot. My trials have all been with ABS. There seems to be enough shrinkage or movement in cooling with the ABS that it is a lost cause (at least on the older Makerbots).

Your experience sounds roughly similar to my experience, ecohawk. Except you probably know better than I what you are doing with the drawings and the printer.

I'm back to spending my days standing at the lathe for the time being. In the evenings I read as much as I can about hacking up CNC machines.

Anyone used a 3D scanner to generate the design/drawings?

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Nice to hear your experiences. Thank you.
I have heard a lot about ABS's shrinkage issues. Some people setup their slicers with a slight enlargement (2% or so) to compensate for that. I have some PLA but haven't tried it yet. It's supposed to be more rigid than ABS, too. I have wondered if the acetone vapor treatment (for ABS) would be helpful for airtightness and ramp smoothness.

I'm hoping the resin based printers might have the resolution to do the job if the resin ever gets cheap enough.

ecohawk wrote:
I did originally try to use the whistle head at this link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20948 It's pretty clunky (read butt-ugly), not very well designed and doesn't play any better than mine.

Yeah I found a few ugly, chunky ones. I suspect that's a good way to start, though and one can shrink iteratively once the concept is proved.

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I'm going to try this one over the holiday and see if it's better than mine: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:45142

Wow. That does look pretty doable. Even has a few Makes posted.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:50 am 
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Please excuse me for even posting on this thread. I know nothing about 3D-printing, but, came across this. :lol:

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/08/when-3 ... oes-wrong/

I'm outta here.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:25 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
Please excuse me for even posting on this thread. I know nothing about 3D-printing, but, came across this. :lol:

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/08/when-3 ... oes-wrong/


Image

Wow, that is one heck of a bridge.

I like the ones where the print went right off the edge of the printbed. My Marlin firmware doesn't usually let me go that far. I wonder if that was an endstop problem?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Thanks for the encouragement, ytliek. :)

Image

But I can make that without a 3D printer - if only I had red pipe..

Image

I've been making whistles this week.

I'll try to maintain my perspective.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:40 pm 
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[Thread revival - Mod]

I'm still collecting parts to make my printer. In the meantime, I've been practicing with 3D stuff.

One of the packages is a programming language that generates 3D files, it's called OPENSCAD.
Being a computer programmer, this is an attractive way to produce 3D objects.

You can download it from their website: http://www.openscad.org/
And to be specifically on-topic for this particular forum, I have a code demo that you can load into OPENSCAD and zoom around at the object. See if you can figure out what it is:

$fn=30;

module plaintube()
{
difference()
{
cylinder(r=26.16,h=130, center=true);
cylinder(r=23.11,h=131, center=true);
}
}

module notchedtube()
{
difference()
{
plaintube();
notchspace();
}
}


module notchspace()
{
translate([0,26,45])
{
translate([-6.35,-6.35,-20])
{
rotate(a=0,v=[0,0,1], center=true)
{
cube([12.7,12.7,40]);
}
}
}
}


module mouthpiecebody()
{
difference()
{
notchedtube();
translate([0,11.4,-20])
{
rotate(a=10,v=[1,0,0], center=true)
{
notchspace();
}
}
}
}


module shroud()
{
difference()
{
translate([0,0,40.1])
{
difference()
{
cylinder(r=29.21,h=50, center=true);
cylinder(r=26.16,h=50, center=true);
}
}
shroudnotch();
}
}


module shroudnotch()
{
translate([0,26,45])
{
translate([-6.35,-6.35,-54.55])
{
rotate(a=0,v=[0,0,1], center=true)
{
cube([12.7,12.7,40]);
}
}
}

}


module block()
{
translate([0,0,48])
{
cylinder(r=23.11,h=34.29, center=true);
}
}

module coupler()
{
translate([0,0, -95])
{
difference()
{
cylinder(r=29.21,h=80, center=true);
cylinder(r=26.16,h=81, center=true);
}
}
}

module mainwhistle()
{
mouthpiecebody();
block();
shroud();
coupler();
}

module beak()
{
translate([-50,-6, +65])
{
rotate(a=90,v=[0,1,0], center=true)
{
cylinder(r=26.16,h=130);
}
}
translate([-30, -75, 38.7])
{
cube([60,70,50]);
}
}



difference()
{
mainwhistle();
beak();
}

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:29 pm 
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BTW - I'm in the process of building a 3D printer, currently acquiring parts.
Specifically, the open source design that is called the "Reprap Prusa Mendel I3"

I have a group on facebook, if you'd follow it along then please private message me and I'll set up an invite.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:47 am 
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The printer is completed and working. I've printed some printer parts and dice. This afternoon it's printing a TARDIS - obviously not full size and not functional either.

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