Dec 17, 2017 | By David

With the festive season rapidly approaching, what better way to celebrate than to read about four fun DIY 3D printing projects that have been shared recently? Some 3D printed cookie molds for the perfect holiday treat and EasyKu ukulele playing aid are just the tip of the iceberg, and your ship is heading right for it.


1. Nod Bang modifies headphones using 3D printing

We all love to nod our head to a nice beat every now and then, whether it’s one from the rock genre or a hip-hop tune laid down by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Flash Grandmaster, or one of the other beat merchants. But what if your head nodding actually created the rhythm, rather than just responding to it? That rhetorical question has been answered by the Nod Bang, a new device that can modify your headphones to make them into a kind of musical instrument / performance toy.

The Nod Bang makes use of an accelerometer, which attaches to a pair of headphones. This can feed movement data to an Arduino circuit board, and a custom Max code is capable of translating each head nod into a metronome-type beat. The tempo of the output is dictated by the wearer, and four 3D printed, backlit arcade buttons on the top of a control box can be linked up to the modified cans and a laptop, in order to add more MIDI sounds in to the mix. Cymbal crashes, synth drones, and other effects are available to flesh out your nodding into a fully-fledged floorfiller.

Engineer Andrew Lee said he spent around 60 days developing this project, which should apparently keep people entertained ‘for a few minutes’.


2. 3D printed EasyKu ukulele playing aid

For those of a certain disposition, there’s nothing more enchanting than the sound of a ukulele’s strings being strummed in front of a roasting winter fireplace. The diminutive instrument isn’t always the easiest to master, though, for musical beginners or even for seasoned guitar players. The EasyKu is designed to make playing chords on the uke a lot easier, and it was put together relatively cheaply using 3D printing technology.

The EasyKu attatches to the fretboard of the ukulele, and comes with large plastic buttons that can play chords for you. All you have to do is press a particular button, which has the name of the desired chord printed on it, and it will press down the required strings in the right place.

The contraption was designed by a team from South Korea’s Kaist University, who are presumably music enthusiasts as well as skilled 3D printing hobbyists. They have also made the CAD files available online for free, so anyone with an interest in picking up the cute mini-guitar can modify the EasyKu device as they see fit. More advanced players might want to add extra buttons in order to play more advanced chords, or the attachment could just be altered to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing or comfortable to use.

Designers: Moojin Joh, Chanwook Kim, Hankyung Kim


3. 3D printed Belgian cookie molds

Nothing says Christmas like a plate of spiced shortbread cookies, particularly if you’re someone who grew up in Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany. These light brown crunchy delicacies are known as Speculoos, and they are often molded with particular patterns or designs on them, such as the Dutch St. Nicholas variant Sinter Klaas or his culturally problematic helper, Zwarte Piet.

3D printing enthusiast Adam, now based in Ohio, was feeling some pangs of nostalgia for these treats from his Belgian upbringing, and so he set to work creating some unique cookie molds in order to make his own on American soil. His molds were made using a consumer FDM 3D printer, and he seems to think that the plastic material they are made from is probably fine to put in contact with something that you are going to eat.

The designs of the molds are traditional motifs from Brussels and the surrounding area, such as a waffle and a wind turbine. The files are all available on Thingiverse to download and send to your own 3D printer, and total 3D printing time shouldn’t be more than a few hours. He’s even shared a homegrown recipe for the dough. Eet smakelijk!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Paul Wiseman wrote at 10/31/2018 5:07:35 PM:

Is the EasyKu ukulele playing aid on sae anywhere? (I have lost the top of a finger and need something like this aid to help me play).

MakPO wrote at 4/9/2018 12:52:22 AM:

Where do you go to download the EasyKu file?

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