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Thread: 3D Printed Ukulele

  1. #1
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    Default 3D Printed Ukulele - Sound Clip Post #3

    This is a Ukulele I printed on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D Printer. It is used for prototyping at my work, and I have recently done basic training in Solid Works 2013 to design parts to be printed. I was able to design and print this full sized 13.875" scale length ukulele in my spare time in about a week. The material is ABSplus, and one neck, body and set of pegs cost about $170 to print.

    Here is the neck, the headstock is real short due to the 12" of printing height. The total printing area is 10"x10"x12" so the neck and body will be printed separately, with a dovetail holding them together.



    Here is the body. .070" thick all over, except on the edges where I gave it a 1/4" round over on the inside and 1/8" round over on the outside effectively creating a lining to reinforce the edges. It only has two top braces and a bridge plate, no back braces. Full size dovetailed neck block but only a minimal tailblock.



    I pulled the separate parts into an assembly file to get this picture.

    Last edited by Koa Soprano; 08-15-2013 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Here is the printer in action. Took about 37 hours to print this job. I also printed two sets of violin style tuning pegs. One was printed vertically the other horizontally to see which would work better, which ended up being the horizontally printed pegs.



    For some strange reason the frets didn't print on the fingerboard. It seems if the neck is in a certain orientation in the printer software the frets were eliminated. I originally printed it vertically, so I printed a second horizontally, which allowed me to redesign a more normal looking headstock by printing it diagonally on the plate.



    Here is a shot of the neck in the printer software, right after the .STL is processed. The gray stuff is the support material. Most of it can be broken off but the remainder is dissolved off in a heated tank of solvent.



    Here are the two necks for comparison. The vertically printed neck has a much nicer finish, but for some reason the frets wouldn't print. The second horizontally printed one printed the frets but the angle of the dovetail printed funny.


  3. #3
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    Here it is strung up. Sounds remarkably like a ukulele. To get playable action I had to fit the neck like a regular ukulele do to the dovetail printing funny. I was hoping to just pop it in but the action was way too high. I have not yet glued it. While fitting it up I realized the angle on my tuning peg holes and tuning pegs themselves are off. I meant to make them all 2 degrees like my violin peghole reamer and pegshaver but I accidently made them 2 degree per side so they came out to 4 degrees. Fortunately they still work and fairly well for just the printed surfaces, as I was expecting to have to clean them up with my tools.







    Sound clip! I don't really play but I threw together some chords.

    Last edited by Koa Soprano; 10-07-2013 at 04:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Smile

    Fascinating! Do you have a sound sample? I'm curious how it plays.

  5. #5
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    That's a real Sci-Fi Uke there! Amazing! I am so gobsmacked by 3D printing! Even Star Trek didn't see that one coming!
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  6. #6
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbablanca View Post
    That's a real Sci-Fi Uke there! Amazing! I am so gobsmacked by 3D printing! Even Star Trek didn't see that one coming!
    Well, it is SORTA like a replicator, only much slower and labor intensive.

  7. #7
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    Would it be possible or feasible to make a case as well?

  8. #8
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    Don't know about a case, it would need to be done in pieces and glued together. As for sound, I have no samples and can't really play anyways. I'd say it mellower and maybe not as punchy as a Koa one I compared it to (both ukes have Aquila Nylguts).

  9. #9
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    Rio Rancho New Mexico, USA
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    Default

    Wow! This is the most exciting ukulele thing I've seen in a long time. Very, very cool.

  10. #10
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    Boise, ID
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    Nice man, very cool, when people ask me what a 3D printer is I give them the example of making a uke. I am trying to save for a 3D printer and will try to make a uke too!
    Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. ~Plato
    Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. ~Plato

    Lanikai CK-C Concert
    Custom David Gill Fluke Style Tenor
    Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/andretv7422?feature=guide

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