Mar.27, 2014

A homemade instrument probably won't sound quite the same as something sold commercially. But it is pretty cool that you can make a set of working pipes at home using 3D printing and play with it.

Matt Stultz on wrote to us about an impressive project created by Donald Lindsay. Matt Stultz wrote:

Often we get too caught up with the technology behind 3D printing and don't spend enough time thinking about the wide range of things we can do with our printers. Sometime we need to stop and smell the roses and listen to a merry tune. Now with the Dreaming Pipes project on Kickstarter, your printer can create you a set of bagpipes (or a few other traditional instruments) so you can play your own tune. I'm really excited to see a project that is not only looking to use 3D printing to take a classic instrument to new levels but also make it affordable and easy for anyone to build.

Donald fell in love with the bagpipes as a teenager. Fascinated by bagpipes in all their varied forms, Donald began trying to construct Scottish Smallpipes shortly afterwards, initially using practice chanters, and pieces of miniature and toy bagpipes, later using a simple woodturning lathe.

"I've been fortunate enough to have played the Smallpipes in a wide variety of settings, for a wide range of musicians and producers, and have often been in situations where I've wished I could just play something that's out the range of my instrument." says Donald.

"Over the years, I've often approached pipe makers to talk about my ideas for extending the range of the instrument. Instruments with keys are available to order from some craftsmen, but like many pipers I feel that keys can bring issues of their own. I wanted to develop the Scottish Smallpipes in a way that would be sympathetic to the sound, playing style, and spirit of Scottish piping." Donald explains.

So in early 2013, Donald started learning 3D modeling and how to use 3D printer at local MakLab in Glasgow, UK, beginning with the original Ultimaker. By February this year he was ready to print a full set of Smallpipes.

3DprintUk in London printed out the basic design of the pipes on the accurate industrial printers, but the cost wasn't cheap. So Donald started looking to fund the project. He launched the 3D printed pipes on Kickstarter, aiming to fund this project to completion and to finance the refinement of his extended range chanter to the point where it's ready to be passed to a pipe maker. "I'm looking to stabilise the instrument in the second register, perfect the tuning, improve the tonal colour, and refine a chanter in every pitch that is practical", Donald says.

If you're interested in this project, and would like to own and play set of small pipes, check out more info and support the Kickstarter project here. For a pledge of £35 you can get all the STL files you need to create a penny whistle, practice chanter, small pipes, and highland pipes, as well as pipe bags and access to assembly instructions.

Watch below the video showing how 3D printed bagpipes sound.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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