Feb 3, 2016 | By Tess

For many of us the mention of the ocarina, an ancient musical wind instrument, will conjure memories of playing The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo 64, pressing the arrow buttons to play the songs that would help to save the princess. For those who have fond memories of the gentle wind instrument sounds from the classic video game, it is now possible to make your very own 3D printed ocarina using the 3Doodler.

The tutorial is part of a newly launched series by them called “PowerDoodler Activity,” which is highlighting the winners and contestants of the 2015 3Doodler Awards and showing users how to make some truly astonishing things with the 3D printing pen.

The first of the series is the 3Doodled ocarina pendant, which was created by Carrie Michael, an artist whose Etsy page features handmade jewelry and various types of ocarina pendants. Michael explains how exactly to create your own 3D printed ocarina, an instrument that has existed for over 12,000 years, and how to tune and play the instrument.

To make your own 3Doodled ocarina you’ll need the following items:

  • a 3Doodler (v. 1 or 2.0)
  • a nozzle set
  • ABS plastic (of any color)
  • PLA plastic (of any color)
  • gemstones and other items to customize your ocarina’s design
  • painting tape
  • pencil and marker
  • a cutting tool
  • Domed and round metal surfaces (such as a ladle)
  • Tuner, or tuning app

To begin, you’ll have to simply cover your domed round surface with painting tape - make sure to mark where the four ocarina holes will be placed with a marker, they should be far from where the mouthpiece will be placed. Once the tape and marked holes have been applied use your ABS plastic and 3D printing pen to cover the entire surface of the dome, excluding the holes. This will be the interior of the ocarina. Michael also suggests using a wide nozzle for this first step to make the process go faster.

Next, you can recover the ABS plastic with PLA plastic of whatever color you want, and be inspired - include various colors and patterns if you like. Remove the plastic from the metal surface.

For the next steps, you’ll have to make a pendant clasp, and an airway stick to place in the mouthpiece using the 3Doodler. For the exact measurements and specifications, consult Michael’s detailed explanation, here.

Of course, your instrument will need a back, so simply repeat the first step of 3Doodling over a rounded metal surface, but this time only include two holes, where your thumbs will be, and space for a sound hole. Once this is done, you can attach the mouthpiece using more plastic. It is important, throughout the entire process, to make sure there are no gaps or holes in the plastic through which air can pass. To check if there are any inconsistencies, place the plastic up to light and see if any filters through.

Once the mouthpiece is securely and properly attached (for full details again, see Michael’s finely detailed explanation), you can join both the front and back shells using plastic, making sure not to get too much plastic material on the inside, which could affect the sound of your instrument. Once the edges are connected to your liking, feel free to use any color for this step, you can attach the pendant clasp to the end of the instrument.

Once the instrument is properly assembled, go at it with embellishments and decorations. You can of course stick to a classic ocarina look, or even decorate it to resemble Link’s from Zelda, Michael herself made an impressive lion’s head on hers.

The final step, before actually playing your instrument, is to tune it. For this step, you simply have to carve out the holes in the instrument until the desired note is achieved. If you don’t have perfect pitch, you can use an electronic tuner or even a tuning app.

Of course, once the instrument is completed, decorated, and tuned, it will be up to you to learn to play it!

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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