We've seen an impressive 3D printed ukulele made by three engineering students from Rochester Institute of Technology in just one night, as well as a cute Makerlele create by Thingiverse user ErikJDurwoodII. Traditional ukuleles are designed with aged koa, and it takes usually many months to shape and form it by hand.
Maker Matthew (aka Koa Soprano), who had previously made his own violins and other instruments, wanted build a ukulele, taking advantage of state-of-the-art 3D printing machines.
Matthew designed a 3D model of this full sized 13.875" (35cm) scale length ukulele in Solid Works 2013 in about a week.
His Ukulele was printed on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D Printer at his work. The total printing area is 10"x10"x12" (25 x 25 x 30cm), due to the 12" of printing height, the headstock was made shorter than usual. The neck and body were printed separately, with a dovetail holding them together.
It took about 37 hours to print this job, including two sets of violin style tuning pegs for checking which orientation works better.
Below are the two printed necks for comparison. The vertically printed neck has a much nicer finish, but for some reason the frets wouldn't print. "It seems if the neck is in a certain orientation in the printer software the frets were eliminated." says Matthew. So he printed a second horizontally, which allowed him to redesign a more normal looking headstock by printing it diagonally on the plate.
The print was very nice and it "sounds remarkably like a ukulele", writes Matthew. And the materials (ABSplus) cost for this fully 3D printed ukulele is just around $70.
Here is a sound clip of this very cool 3D printed music instrument.
You can follow Matthew's building progress here on his blog.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Jackie Goldstein wrote at 7/1/2013 11:40:32 AM:
I cannot reach Matthew on his blog (really a closed forum). I need to speak with him - how else can I contact him? Thanks! email@example.com
Chris wrote at 6/22/2013 3:42:57 AM:
So cute i want to print a sopranino, 2/3 the size. I will need help from the engineering students though. My library has a 3 d printer.