Mixtrument: A 3D Printable ‘Mixable’ Wind Instrument Designed by a Nuclear Engineer

Share this Article

mix1While 3D printing has been touted for its tremendous advantage over other manufacturing techniques, when it comes customization, not everyone is utilizing the technology to its fullest potential. Over the past few years, we have seen our fair share of 3D printed musical instruments, many featuring custom designs, and even custom elements for unique sounds. However, what one man–who happens to hold a PhD in Nuclear Engineering–has developed takes the entire idea of customization to a whole new level.

mix3Kent Wardle, who has plenty of experience with 3D printing, having used it to design and prototype advanced concepts for equipment used to process nuclear materials, decided to use the technology for a less serious creation. In doing so, he came up with a design for what he refers to as the Mixtrument.

“I have two young sons (ages 5 and 3) and only one toy instrument called a ‘saxoflute’,” Wardle tells 3DPrint.com. “I play my clarinet sometimes and when I practice my boys will play their own little musical instruments–with only one mouthpiece for the saxoflute, that led to too much fighting. So I needed a second whistle mouthpiece. Once I had that, I decided to make a bunch of other pieces to see what works. Plus, I didn’t like the finger-hole sections on my son’s toy–the raised holes on mine are much easier to use and I can put multiple holes on a single section.”

Mixtrument is a 3D printable kit that provides for many different combinations of mouthpieces, different bells and sections with holes, to create different looking and sounding wind instruments. All of the pieces can be 3D printed on virtually any FDM/FFF-based printer and fit together perfectly when printed correctly. While Wardle tells us that some of the combinations work better than others, all of the possible instruments will play come kind of sound when the pieces are assembled together. He advises against creating an instrument that is “too long,” as these tend to require more air control than the shorter instruments.

“I think this particular design may only work well for woodwind style instruments which tend to have a large inner diameter,” Wardle tells us. “I did make the trumpet-style mouthpiece but am not sure it works just right. I have noticed that brass instruments tend to have tubing with a smaller diameter so I may need to make a separate version. Like I said, I would love to make a trombone-style slide of some sort, but need to give that some thought on how to make it workable but still sealed. I did just upload an as yet untested flute-style mouthpiece as well–your question about other instrument types triggered the idea.”

mix2

While there are already quite a large range of combinations that can be created with Wardle’s current version of the Mixtrument, he says that he may come up with some additional ideas in the near future as he and his sons experiment with his creation further. He is also open to ideas that the 3D printing community may have on improving or adding to his design.

In the meantime, anyone is free to download and 3D print the Mixtrument as they please from Thingiverse. Discuss this story in the Mixtrument forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Recent News

Researchers Rely on 3D Printed Models & Surgical Guides for Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

Sandia National Laboratories 3D Printing Tamper-Indicating Enclosures



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

Digilab: On the State of Bioprinting Today

In a recent interview with Digilab‘s CEO Sidney Braginsky, Senior Applications Manager Igor Zlatkin, and John Moore, President and COO, 3DPrint.com got a glimpse of the focus, future, and advances...

Wikifactory’s Docubot Challenge Creates a Hardware Solution for Documentation

International startup Wikifactory, established in Hong Kong last June, is a social platform for collaborative product development. Co-founded by four makers, and until recently counting 3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief Joris Peels as a member...

Kickstarter Campaign Continues for High-Resolution Jewelry 3D Scanner

Ukrainian company D3D-s was founded four years ago by father and son team Leonid and Denys Nazarenko, and last year they successfully raised $250,000 through Kickstarter for their first desktop 3D...

Interview with Formalloy’s Melanie Lang on Directed Energy Deposition

When I met Melanie Lang at RAPID a lot of the buzz on the show floor was directed at her startup Formalloy. Formalloy has developed a metal deposition head that...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!