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Koa Soprano
06-02-2013, 02:20 PM
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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke01.jpg

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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke02.jpg

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

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke03.jpg

Koa Soprano
06-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke05.jpg

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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke06.jpg

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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke07.jpg

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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke08.jpg

Koa Soprano
06-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke09.jpg

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke10.jpg

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke11.jpg

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


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoiIoK4jrdc

Texangal
06-02-2013, 02:27 PM
Fascinating! Do you have a sound sample? I'm curious how it plays.

Barbablanca
06-02-2013, 02:37 PM
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! ;)

Texangal
06-02-2013, 02:49 PM
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.

Koa Soprano
06-02-2013, 04:29 PM
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).

Hikingstevo
06-02-2013, 04:39 PM
Wow! This is the most exciting ukulele thing I've seen in a long time. Very, very cool. :cool:

electrauke
06-02-2013, 05:01 PM
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!

Freeda
06-02-2013, 05:25 PM
Phenomenally cool.

Luke El U
06-02-2013, 06:13 PM
Makes me wonder if I should put off buying a very expensive carbon fiber uke from Blackbird.
Thanks for sharing!

experimentjon
06-02-2013, 06:20 PM
Insanely awesome that you saw this through to production! Granted, printing the instrument doesn't quite make economic sense given the lower-cost manufacturing options, but this is certainly very novel.

BigMamaJ40
06-03-2013, 05:22 PM
Wow! Thanks for sharing the pics. What a great learning experience. I'm envious!

Koa Soprano
06-03-2013, 07:00 PM
Thanks guys. I may make a second and make a few changes soon.

ichadwick
06-04-2013, 01:38 AM
"Like" - great idea... want to see more if you continue...

fernandogardinali
06-04-2013, 03:24 AM
Very cool! I'm impressed!

UkuleleHill
06-04-2013, 07:20 AM
That is really cool! Any chance on finding out how much something like that would cost? Heck I would just like to get ahold of one of the necks! So... Any chance of selling them? :)

nobodyspecial
06-04-2013, 07:53 AM
Thanks guys. I may make a second and make a few changes soon.

This is awesome.
Is there a window where you can see the uke being made?
If so, could you record part of it?
It would be cool to see how the printer "prints" it :D

Koa Soprano
06-04-2013, 10:11 AM
This is awesome.
Is there a window where you can see the uke being made?
If so, could you record part of it?
It would be cool to see how the printer "prints" it :D

It's actually extremely boring to watch. There are videos on youtube showing what happens. The printer head just goes back and forth, the cool factor of watching it for the first time wore off after like 30 seconds.


That is really cool! Any chance on finding out how much something like that would cost? Heck I would just like to get ahold of one of the necks! So... Any chance of selling them? :)

My materials cost for a full uke is around $70. I wouldn't mind selling them once I make a few alterations and work out a cost, if there was a market.

UkueBass23
06-04-2013, 10:16 AM
Maybe one of the coolest threads. ever. Thanks so much for taking the plunge.

UkeKiddinMe
06-04-2013, 02:55 PM
Awesome. Love it.

oldetymey
06-04-2013, 02:56 PM
Very very cool do you have a trick for peeling the thin back off the work table? Alot of the vids Ive seen on 3d printing they seem to have a terrible time with thin/delicate bits sticking.

ScooterD35
06-04-2013, 03:55 PM
This is definitely cooler than the other side of the pillow!

I'd buy one just to be able to say I own one. I can't wait to here a recording.


Scooter

BigMamaJ40
06-04-2013, 04:35 PM
Let's see...$70 per uke + $35K for the machine = a lotta ukuleles to sell!

Ukulele90
06-05-2013, 06:32 AM
This is really great. Could you model this off an older Uke? Or maybe experiment with new sizes.

HeWhoTalksLoudSayinNothin
06-05-2013, 09:28 AM
I am by no means a ukulele builder, but I am curious, in a "normal" wooden uke you see these braces inside and I remember reading somewhere that those influence not only stability but also the sound (may be mistaken, if so please correct me). Have you thought of copying bracing patterns inside the ukulele? I see you only have two horizontal ones, or at least it looks like that.

And I second the idea that you could probably sell these for a reasonable price, not really to make big money but maybe just to pay for your materials that you use for your own projects.

ChrisRCovington
06-05-2013, 10:17 AM
Let's see...$70 per uke + $35K for the machine = a lotta ukuleles to sell!

3D printers are really dropping in price. You can get some for $500-$800 USD. As they become more popular I think we'll see them drop even further in price.

pulelehua
06-05-2013, 10:27 AM
I think discussing the economics isn't very relevant. My first computer in 1992 cost $1400 and had a state of the art 66hz processor.

The economics will catch up with 3d printing. This is going to be some part of the future of instrument building. The technology will get better, we will get better at it, and the possible implications for design are... well, I imagine we can't imagine.

This is the start. Fantastic. :)

ChrisRCovington
06-05-2013, 10:40 AM
And I second the idea that you could probably sell these for a reasonable price, not really to make big money but maybe just to pay for your materials that you use for your own projects.

Part of the idea of 3D printing isn't to create a cottage industry in your own home or shop but to provide the files so people can print them in their own home or office. So what might be a better idea is to sell the file for a smaller amount of $ so people can go to the local university or other place with a printer and print it themselves. I wouldn't mind printing my own ukulele at the Fablab we have at my college.

lexi
06-05-2013, 11:00 AM
Seriously, this is such a fab and creative way to design and build a ukulele, i can see these 3d printers becomming available in every home within the next decade or so, furthermore changing the way we live, printing your own uke will be as easy as opening an email attachment and sending it to the printer.

Would so love to hear this as well!

Koa Soprano
06-05-2013, 05:08 PM
Very very cool do you have a trick for peeling the thin back off the work table? Alot of the vids Ive seen on 3d printing they seem to have a terrible time with thin/delicate bits sticking.

It came off quite easily actually. I helps to twist the base plate to break it free.


This is really great. Could you model this off an older Uke? Or maybe experiment with new sizes.

Yes, the design would have to be draw up in Solidworks.


I am by no means a ukulele builder, but I am curious, in a "normal" wooden uke you see these braces inside and I remember reading somewhere that those influence not only stability but also the sound (may be mistaken, if so please correct me). Have you thought of copying bracing patterns inside the ukulele? I see you only have two horizontal ones, or at least it looks like that.


I copied the standard soprano bracing pattern with a brace above and below the soundhole and a bridgeplate. I am currently altering some aspects of the design including less robust braces and a smaller bridgeplate. I didn't put any on the back though but that may be changed too.


Part of the idea of 3D printing isn't to create a cottage industry in your own home or shop but to provide the files so people can print them in their own home or office. So what might be a better idea is to sell the file for a smaller amount of $ so people can go to the local university or other place with a printer and print it themselves. I wouldn't mind printing my own ukulele at the Fablab we have at my college.

Now that's an idea too.

Nickie
06-05-2013, 05:26 PM
Very cool! What's it made of?

Koa Soprano
06-06-2013, 04:34 PM
Very cool! What's it made of?

Thanks, it's made from ABSplus, I believe it's a thermoplastic.

Koa Soprano
06-07-2013, 08:02 PM
Sound clip in post #3.

singh44s
06-07-2013, 09:19 PM
That's... Wow! Have you shown it to any other musicians?

I've interacted with a few 3D-printed artifacts about 2 years ago, but that may've just been the level at which the CA-cemented powder method was at the time.

Do you intend to explore further with this method of making ukes?

pabrizzer
06-07-2013, 09:37 PM
Simply amazing!
Can you change the colour of the plastic? Would a clear one be possible?
I saw a news item saying the printing of a plastic gun was possible - single shot one that was operational.
The future is near....

Texangal
06-08-2013, 01:56 AM
Sound clip in post #3.

Thanks for adding the sound clip. It sounds surprisingly good! :)

Skinny Money McGee
06-08-2013, 02:09 AM
Thanks for posting this, really cool stuff. I'm curious, what kind of job do you have where you need or experiment with a 3D printer? Prototypes?

Also curious what the maintenance cycle is on a printer like that and if there are any consumables not used in the final product. For example, older laser printers used to have the fusing units and other components separate from the toner cartridge, which had to be replaced at times.

ScooterD35
06-08-2013, 02:11 AM
Sounds great! I'm just very impressed by this whole process.

Scooter

Skinny Money McGee
06-08-2013, 02:24 AM
Part of the idea of 3D printing isn't to create a cottage industry in your own home or shop but to provide the files so people can print them in their own home or office. So what might be a better idea is to sell the file for a smaller amount of $ so people can go to the local university or other place with a printer and print it themselves. I wouldn't mind printing my own ukulele at the Fablab we have at my college.

Not sure if the Tax Payers would appreciate using the local university or college as a personal toy manufacture depot

-Emma-
06-08-2013, 02:45 AM
Very cool!

ChrisRCovington
06-08-2013, 03:43 AM
Not sure if the Tax Payers would appreciate using the local university or college as a personal toy manufacture depot

Our college has an MIT Fablab which is set up so anyone, after a 4 hour training course, is welcome to come in and use the tools for any project they have. They only have to pay the cost of the materials. It is set up to give access to these great tools to smal business owners and developers who would otherwise never be able to access this stuff. If I for example printed an ukulele I would probably be asked to print two, one of myself and the other to keep in the lab as a demo to show and inspire others. I might even try to design one myself at some point if I ever get some time!

Koa Soprano
06-08-2013, 04:31 PM
That's... Wow! Have you shown it to any other musicians?

Do you intend to explore further with this method of making ukes?

I have a friend who owns a music store, but I don't think he plays ukulele.

I do intend to go further with this.


Simply amazing!
Can you change the colour of the plastic? Would a clear one be possible?
I saw a news item saying the printing of a plastic gun was possible - single shot one that was operational.
The future is near....

This was printed in ivory but white, black, dark gray, red, blue, olive green, nectarine and fluorescent yellow are available as well as custom colors but I don't think clear would be an option. I've seen the gun too, pretty amazing.


Thanks for adding the sound clip. It sounds surprisingly good! :)

Thanks, it sounds better then I was expecting.


Thanks for posting this, really cool stuff. I'm curious, what kind of job do you have where you need or experiment with a 3D printer? Prototypes?

Also curious what the maintenance cycle is on a printer like that and if there are any consumables not used in the final product. For example, older laser printers used to have the fusing units and other components separate from the toner cartridge, which had to be replaced at times.

We make tradesmen tools related to the construction industry. We would rather the CNCs run our production then shut down to burn off a few prototype pieces. We also plan to do 3D printing on the side for other companies.

I couldn't really answer your other question, not yet as my experience is still limited. All I know how to do it change a material cartridge.

strummin'&hummin'
06-10-2013, 09:43 AM
AMAZING! There was an article in our local paper about printing instruments on the 3D printers this past weekend. I told my husband, I wanted to print myself out a "uke a day!" Now that I know it's an actually possibility and that it sounds pretty darn good, I'm going to have to start saving for a 3D printer!!!

bborzell
06-10-2013, 10:16 AM
Very impressive project. It sounds better than my Outdoor Uke which contributes to my theory that the hollow neck on the ODU adds a less than desirable tone of its own to that which is produced in the body part of the sound chamber.

But, all this assumption goes nowhere if your neck is hollow, too. Is it hollow?

Minotaur53
06-10-2013, 11:53 AM
That's really neat! i'd love one of these as an outdoor instrument. ;)

Koa Soprano
06-10-2013, 02:29 PM
But, all this assumption goes nowhere if your neck is hollow, too. Is it hollow?

The neck is solid.

UkerDanno
06-10-2013, 02:53 PM
that's the most amazing thing I've seen since Avatar 3D at IMAX!!!

Flip27
06-10-2013, 06:56 PM
wow. I didn't know the printer is actually real. That looks nice, though

ChaosToo
06-10-2013, 09:15 PM
Superb result all round! The possibilities are surely endless with this and I'm sure there's be a market ........ :D

Sound
06-17-2013, 03:31 AM
That's impressive work! Congratulations!
Any chance you can release the files so that other people with 3D printers (like me :D) can print theirs? Thank you in advance :)

BlueLatitude
06-17-2013, 05:25 AM
I like the sound on this and I would be interested in purchasing one if you go that far.

I think the all-white looks great! Sort of like a ghost uke.

Koa Soprano
06-17-2013, 07:44 PM
Thanks guys. I am nearly done making some changes and will print another to check them out very soon. I also plan to release the files once I think everything is fine, probably through a third party website that hosts 3D printer files.

I made a correction to the first post in that the materials cost is around $170.

Koa Soprano
06-22-2013, 11:48 AM
#2 is on the way. I printed the neck and tuners yesterday, fitted the tuners in then made a few changes and printed off a new set with pre-drilled holes and a rounded profile to the shortened top. The headstock has a larger overall profile, much closer to a standard uke size. I also pre-slotted the nut.

The body printed last night. I altered the two braces and decreased the size of the bridge plate, as well as added traditional string anchor slots in the bridge and lowered the saddle height. The body is in the solution to dissolve the support material that prints with it for a few more hours but by tonight it should be done.

Koa Soprano
06-23-2013, 09:44 AM
Here is version 2.0 (larger headstock) with 1.0. Sounds different, not sure if it's the bracing or something with the finish surface of the saddle. Both are strung with Aquila Nylguts.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke12.jpg

I added string anchor slots and set the finished height of the saddle. I don't really like the finish of the saddle, but it's the nature of the printing. I may sand it slightly.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke13.jpg

A pre-slotted nut that works quite well on this one. Also trimmed down and pre-drilled tuning pegs with a 2 degree instead of 4 degree taper.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke14.jpg

Here is a comparison of the bracing. The new cross bracing doesn't intersect the sides, which I think made the body too ridged. Also an obviously smaller bridge plate.

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx37/violinmaking_photos/3D%20Ukulele/3duke15.jpg

Puotta
06-23-2013, 10:00 AM
You said it sounds different, how so? I'm assuming it's not in a good way?

Either way. It looks great. In the first video, it really looked like it was CG'd into the video.

Johnny GDS
06-23-2013, 01:17 PM
The 3D printer is truly an amazing innovation. In 20 years it will probably be just as common as a regular printer, but for now it seems mind blowingly advanced! A friend of mine and I have been working on a very small belt sander attachment that can be run with a hand drill or dremel tool (for shaping bone nuts and saddles) and were thinking about 3D printing the prototype.

That uke is frickin cool though!

Koa Soprano
06-23-2013, 07:19 PM
You said it sounds different, how so? I'm assuming it's not in a good way?

Either way. It looks great. In the first video, it really looked like it was CG'd into the video.

I gotta play it more, maybe break in the new strings. I think 1.0 is brighter, but I maybe just need to play it. I'll get a video made up soon.

I'm also looking at how to make the files available.

Blackwingy
06-23-2013, 08:32 PM
That is absolutely...amazing. Kudos to you! I was gobsmacked at the sound of 1.0.

numberone
06-23-2013, 11:27 PM
This is looking great!

Maybe you could try loading the files up to Thingiverse.com?
Or somewhere like Shapeways or Ponoko if you'd prefer to get some kind of financial return for your efforts.
I'm sure a number of people would love to give your model a flavor of their own before sending it to the 3D printer...

It would be interesting to see (or rather, hear) the difference between the prints from a fancy machine like you have used, and a cheaper DIY/desktop printer such as a MakerBot.

Koa Soprano
06-26-2013, 09:26 AM
Thas is what I plan to do.

Koa Soprano
06-26-2013, 06:30 PM
Here is a sound clip of #2.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd7Ztnq8kG4

Jim Hanks
06-26-2013, 07:08 PM
#1 sounds louder but #2 sounds sweeter to my ears.

Koa Soprano
07-06-2013, 04:10 PM
Sounds different, not sure if it's the bracing or something with the finish surface of the saddle.

The saddle finish wasn't the problem, I sanded it smooth like the first one but it sounds pretty much the same. The biggest difference is the cross braces, I will print a third soon to test one more thing and maybe go back to the original bracing.

badapple89
07-22-2013, 02:32 PM
sdphfds!!!!!

Wow, I've always wanted to 3d print something but never knew what I could print that I needed.
Then I thought "I know, a uke!" so over the last few weeks I've been trying to learn 3d drawing ... with a biiiig fail!!!

I had seen this uke before but never traced it back to this post, since my drawings failed I am now here. And to my surprise the thread seems current :)

Cant wait to get one of these bad boys!!!
How are you going with #3?

All the best.

bbycrts
07-22-2013, 06:59 PM
My mind? Blown. My wife's mind? Blown.

This is absolutely amazing. It's one thing to do the 3D printing - totally another thing for the results to sound so darn good!

Congratulations on this - what an accomplishment!

HeWhoTalksLoudSayinNothin
07-22-2013, 08:34 PM
Wow, sounds a lot better than your first model! Looks like competition for the outdoor ukulele ;)

Koa Soprano
10-07-2013, 04:21 PM
Now you can download and print your own.

:cool:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:162309

Kdogg
10-07-2013, 04:40 PM
Mind Blown
perfect outdoor/camping/beach or knock around...

Bill Potter
11-19-2013, 10:51 AM
WHOO HOO! Heading over to our printer tomorrow and getting started. (We're in the process of starting a uke group at the school I work at, so this is perfect timing!)

Thanks,

BIll

Sound
12-09-2013, 03:23 AM
Hello!
I wanted to print this one on my RepRap but we don't usually have so large build areas and dual extruders with soluble support material, so I modified the original STL file to make it printable in several parts without support material: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:199298

Thank you Koa Soprano for sharing your file! I gave credit to you in the video.

Mouthy1
12-11-2013, 09:23 AM
This is just amazing! And for you to take your time to share it with us...very cool. I bet you will have a Merry Christmas this year. Make your significant other a ring and blow their mind!!!

Koa Soprano
12-14-2013, 04:55 AM
Thanks guys, glad you continue to enjoy the 3D Printed Ukulele.


Hello!
I wanted to print this one on my RepRap but we don't usually have so large build areas and dual extruders with soluble support material, so I modified the original STL file to make it printable in several parts without support material: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:199298

Thank you Koa Soprano for sharing your file! I gave credit to you in the video.

Hey Sound! :) I was just going to post your remix of my uke so people with smaller printers could print it. Great job you did, it is sure to be more popular now that just about anyone with a 3D printer can print one.

Koa Soprano
12-14-2013, 05:04 AM
WHOO HOO! Heading over to our printer tomorrow and getting started. (We're in the process of starting a uke group at the school I work at, so this is perfect timing!)

Thanks,

BIll

How did it go?

Edgeguy
12-14-2013, 12:18 PM
This thread is so cool. Would never have thought this possible, but what is amazing is that it sounds very nice. Keep this thread going! I can't wait to see others try this.

shakey
03-06-2015, 07:38 AM
would it be possible to get it smaller, I want one I can take with me always and keep it in my pocket and just play when I am little down.

if so could someone message me with a smaller model to send to a 3d printer service

Icelander53
03-06-2015, 08:41 AM
All I can say is I wish "I don't really play" that well. :confused: