MakerBot makes music! Well, the 3D printing company, which operates Thingiverse, is helping you to make music, anyway, with the plans for some rhythmic
instruments now available for you to 3D print.
“While you may not be able to actually go on tour with them, these tambourines, bells, triangles, maracas and cowbells can still make a real racket,” the description promises.
That may not be exactly music to, say, a parent’s ears, but there’s no denying the appeal of making music.
When I was a kid, my homemade maracas tended to be made from old coffee cans and filled with whatever dry beans were in the pantry. Kids nowadays have much wider options available. Not just sleeker than my old coffee can maracas, but much cooler all around, these made-to-order maracas can be printed at home on your own 3D printer or picked up at MakerBot’s Retail Stores in Boston or New York City. The Retail Stores are now featuring music-themed window displays through the end of this month, celebrating all things rhythmic.
Interested in shake-shake-shaking things up? Need more cowbell?
The instrument design files are available at Thingiverse, under a Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike license, for download. The instructions are pretty easy and, especially in the cases of the more complicated tambourine and filled maraca, pretty clever.
For example, to fabricate the tambourine, first you must print 20 disks (at 3% infill, 0.2mm layer height) without rafts or supports. Next, print the tambourine body (10% infill, 0.2mm layer height), also without raft or supports. Then set your 3D printer Z-pause height of 15mm; when the printer is paused, drop two discs onto each peg, then resume the print. Set the Z-pause height now to 27mm. When the printer is paused this time, drop two more discs onto each peg, then resume.
For the maraca, you’ll pause the print around the halfway point so you can fill it with noise-making rice (or other fillings, if you’d prefer to think outside the instructional box).
Several files are available for download for each instrument, ranging from 23 downloadable .stl files for the triangle to 28 files for the maraca.
With the addition of the musical instruments, MakerBot has 336 designs in their gallery on Thingiverse, as well as 15 collections.
“If music be the food of love, play on,” Duke Orsino declares in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Orsino was on to something in that enduring line, and music has long held a special place in many people’s lives. Now, those makers passionate about music can combine their loves by creating their own… well, “orchestra” would be a bit of a stretch, but at least a sturdy rhythm section. These instruments would be great for kids starting to grow their interests in hands-on musical learning or for adults eager to show off their 3D printing skills to appeal to the senses of sight, touch, and now hearing.
Would you make your own instruments? Have you used MakerBot’s instrument designs? How do they sound? Let us know over at the Make Music forum thread at 3DPB.com!
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