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September 4, 2014 AT 8:00 am

Erik J Durwood II: Makerlele MK1 – 3D Printable Ukulele #3DxMusic #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Today on our weekly live 3D Hangouts, we will be sharing a short “Field Guide” to celebrate the many ways that desktop 3D printing has entered into the area of music today. Here’s a quick roundup of a few other #3DxMusic projects that caught our interest to whet your appetite!


The Makerlele MK1 by ErikJDurwoodII Thingiverse

While the first few years of the dance between desktop 3D printing and music tended to focus on whistles, building cases for electronic instruments, or building accessories for existing musical instruments, maker Brent Rosenburgh (“Erik J Durwood II“) — best known for designing the R. Maker mascot for MakerBot back in 2011 — was one of the first to tackle an ambitious entirely-3D-printed traditional instrument using desktop 3D printing technology.

The similarities and differences between Brent’s design — focused on how to generate a “full-sized” instrument given the limitations of a desktop printer build platform — and Andreas Bastian’s acoustic analysis-focused approach is pretty revealing about the flexibility of 3D printing as a materials challenge! For example, both explore printing “membranes,” but approach this concept from different directions.

Erik J Durwood II: Makerlele MK1 – 3D Printable Ukulele:

This fully 3D printable ukulele (save for bolts and strings) uses an acoustic transducer to carry the lower frequency sound created by the strings to a very thin membrane on the bottom of the body. The sound is focused and projected out of channels in the body to (hopefully) create a fuller tone with reasonable amplitude.

I am still working on the design of the head and tuners. Right now, to have a good gear ratio for the prototype, I made the gears almost comically large.

UPDATE!! I’m refining the design of the geared tuner head but I wanted to test the tonality to see if I was getting somewhere so I quickly designed a test friction head and tuning knobs to try it out.

I have uploaded all the current parts for everyone to TEST this EXPERIMENTAL design! Have fun!

Read More.

The Makerlele MK1 by ErikJDurwoodII Thingiverse

The Makerlele MK1 by ErikJDurwoodII Thingiverse

The Makerlele MK1 by ErikJDurwoodII Thingiverse


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!


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