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3D Printed Saxophone - Sneak Preview


Striving to play the changes in a melodic way.
Staff member
Published on 29 Jul 2014 @ http://gizmodo.com/the-first-3d-printed-saxophone-sounds-surprisingly-dece-1616272037/+andrewliszewsk

This is a quick sneak preview of my 3D printed alto sax. And an important note: I am not a sax player, so be amazed by what 3D printing is capable, rather than by how my awful sax playing might be. And, yes, a couple of the notes are slightly out of tune because of air leakages. The next iterations will be perfect, I promise!

On the technical side, the sax has 41 components excluding all the springs and screws, It is printed in nylon, on a SLS machine, and weighs less than a quarter of a real sax (575grams vs 2.5Kg. Weight might go up a tad once painted, though, but still a lot less than a metal one).

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I actually think the "41 components" number is a tad low. The best result you'd get with the 3-D printer is to do a model of each piece and, for some larger pieces, you'd want to break it up. That's how some folks are 3-D printing cars.

The other thing is that you need to wonder about the expense. Remember that you still need the pads, corks and springs. Of course, you'd need a 3-D scan of a horn or a horn and a 3-D scanner, you'd also need a 3-D printer and resin (the 3-D printer's "toner"). I should total up those prices and compare it to the current plastic sax, the Vibratosax.
Yes and no. It's more appropriate to say that you need a 3D modeling program.

You do need to scan the recorder with a 3D scanner. That scan gets uploaded into a 3D modeling program. From there, you could just hit Ctrl+P and print. There are plans for various things around the web, so you could just download and print, but if you're scanning something in, you're going to want to make some tweaks to what's scanned. Another way of looking at it is that if you were to scan a magazine article and try to use an OCR (optical character recognition) program, I can almost guarantee you that some things won't be recognized properly.
3D printing is amazing, but mere scanning and printing is not an art.
I wonder, is anyone thought about designing and 3D printing absolutely new, unknown before instrument… That could be a little discovery…
Almost anything can be called "art." However, I'd call this more "technical achievement."

As far as I'm aware, the latest instrument discovery was the Viola Organista, which was invented by Leonardo DaVinci, "blueprinted," but not made until 2013. I don't think it uses any 3D printed parts :).

In any case, I like the idea of trying to get vintage instruments built and/or repaired using 3D printing -- or any other process, really. It's actually kida similar to how scientists put together dinosaur skeletons that are missing parts.
So, as some of you know, one of my hobbies is repairing vintage computer keyboards. As an example, I'm currently typing this on an Apple Extended Keyboard from 1986 or so. I recently bought a keyboard for cheap that should be worth lots after I fix it, so I'm thinking about buying a 3d printer, probably this one. The main reason, as far as my hobby is concerned, is that I could use the printer to make keyboard cases and case parts somewhat inexpensively. The alternate idea is to pick up woodworking, with which I have zero skills and almost zero tools (a drill, a drill press, and a Dremel). It's also a bit more limited in what I can produce, especially at specific sizes.

Anyone else into 3D printing?
No, but I have a decent sized box full of old ADB Apple Keyboards........

3d Printing is something I know I'm bound to get into at some point, but haven't done so....
No, but I have a decent sized box full of old ADB Apple Keyboards........

Seriously speaking, depending on what you have, they can be anywhere in value from a little to a lot. If you wanna take some pics, you might have a buyer right here. Just a shot of the typing side and the bottom, with the model number. Or if you just want to ship me the lot...
I have been 3D printing for a year now. A keyboard case is probably too large to print as one piece on most low cost printers. But for smaller parts it is great. You can find a lot of free files to print. But being able to design your own parts is most of the fun for me. Expect a learning curve. Fortunately, you can search for answers on the web.
The alternate idea is to pick up woodworking, with which I have zero skills and almost zero tools (a drill, a drill press, and a Dremel).
Umm. The drill seems to have escaped. *Sigh* Another $25 ...

As far as size is concerned, you do have a point, Mojo. Max size on the Ender is 220x220x270mm. I'd be building cases of around 355x152x51mm (14"x6"). I guess halves and some super glue.
There are adhesives sold formulated for 3D printer materials.

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