3D Printed melodica that sounds like a professional instrument

12 Mar

3D Printed melodica that sounds like a professional instrument

The melodica, otherwise called the pianica, blow-organ or key-woodwind, is a free-reed instrument like the melodion and harmonica. It has a musical console on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into an opening in the side of the instrument. Squeezing a key opens an opening, permitting air to move through a reed. The console is normally a few octaves in length. Melodicas are little, light, and portable

3d printed melodica

Daren who is an artist, music director has done music for many TV shows. He got fond over toy harmonica while playing it that pushed him to certain level where he decided to create his own melodica. Daren came to this decision of making melodica since it comes with plastic eventually for kids and it has its own drawbacks while playing fast melodies.

Daren chooses 3d printing to create melodica, as he doesn’t have any previous experience neither have knowledge about 3d printing technology so he began to learn CAD software to draw his design and about 3dprinting. Daren purchased an affordable 3d printer to test his ability towards 3d printing, but it was a failure as he couldn’t get accuracy which is most important in creating such instrument. Daren wants to make a 3d printed melodica that should be best when comes to comparison with other musical instruments.

He sent all his files to 3D Alchemy a 3d printing company to get things completed, and they printed them using Stratasys Eden 500 V. It was accurate but once assembled he found that the keys have started to bend while playing. He finally got his 3d printed meldoica completed by Shapeways service.

3d printed melodica

In-order to get strong keys Shapeways service printed using nylon filament, and for playing instruments, material needs to impenetrable and watertight, where nylon is not such an ideal plastic. Daren explains how he overcomes this issue "I got around this by coating it in a few layers of acrylic sealant, before finishing it with paint and varnish. Once assembled, I could see that I had the right material. It was strong and light, and looked great with a layer of acrylic paint,” The output was amazing as expected by Daren, it look and sounds like a professional instrument.