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 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-03 12:09

Hi,

We've just bought a 3D printer kit to keep my son busy while he is home educating for the lockdown.

I'm slightly wondering about fooling around with printing clarinet parts, like longer bells or longer barrels, just for fun. I wondered if anyone had any ideas they'd like me to try out?

I wasn't going to do anything fabulous or saleable. Just fun experiments, if you know what I mean.

Jen

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2020-04-03 16:02

It might be interesting to duplicate a barrel of known dimensions and then produce further iterations with slightly altered dimensions. This would be instructive in establishing the effects of small changes. If the barrel were made with an oversize bore, inserts could be made, and small changes could be made to the bore, taper, etc. Just a wistful thought.

Tony F.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-04-03 16:25
Attachment:  3D Printed Mouthpieces.jpg (376k)

My oldest son bought a printer a while ago and sent a mouthpiece for me to try.
I call it my Quad-Octo-Doubled-Contra mouthpiece. I am waiting for him to 3D print the instrument for me to try it out. Anyone know where I can find 12 inch wide cane to make a reed for it?



Post Edited (2020-04-03 16:27)

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-03 16:27

Hi Tony,

That's a good idea. It would allow me to gauge the difference in tone from using this particular printing material too. The material is very light, and I can imagine that it may have strange sound qualities.

I'll try to figure out how to measure my barrel.

I'm quite tempted to try to print a mouthpiece too, but I can imagine that that could take lot of work and produce a really rubbish mp. :-)

Thanks,

Jen

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-04-03 17:15

I've been having a ton of fun with my new printer. in 2012 I bought a simple printer and was unhappy with the quality. Now more than 7 years later even cheap printers can have good print quality. I've been making tons of products made from "rosewood" filament which contains ground wood dust. It's very hard to print, but with some sanding and staining lit looks just like wood. So far I've made bulbous bells, alto clarinet necks and custom contrabass mouthpieces with a 3mm tip opening and a long facing. The mouthpiece came out so good, i'm now using it over my Fobes, and a few pros have expressed good things about the prototypes. Keep in mind that anything you print will need extensive post processing.

I would highly recommend you learn to use Fusion 360 if you haven't already. There's a bit of a learning curve but once you figure things out you can make anything you can imagine!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-e9O9Qg_Iz/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Cxc2mgWMK/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8Rnc4nAmM8/

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-04-03 18:08

I think 3D printing is fantastic! It's come a long way. The old models might have been slower, not sure about the new ones.

For testing purposes this surely saves a boatload of money compared to attempts of making molds. There are a few disadvantage in controlling the the shrinkage rate of the materials you are using. As we know rubber and plastics shrink when heated. Then the degree of heat as far as temperature also comes into play. Generally the hotter the more the material shrinks. But to solve theories about barrels, mouthpieces, weight, related to vibration, this is surely a great way to play and design new concepts.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2020-04-03 20:00

Ken,

The new mouthpiece is a beauty. What a conversation piece. I'd put a cork on it and use the MP as a conversation starter at a rehearsal or gig.

Perhaps your son might want to market these "Quad-Octo-Doubled-Contra mouthpieces" for the musician who has everything.

HRL

PS May I have your permission to share the jpeg with others (giving your son due credit, of course).

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-03 20:03

Jdbassplayer - that sounds brilliant. Did you have to pay the hefty fee for your software? It looks really good but seems to cost a lot.

I like the rosewood idea. I suppose that's a bit like 3D printing greenline.

Ken - I'm racking my mind for a species of reed that wide. There's got to be one somewhere. :-) It sounds like an excellent mouthpiece.

Bob - yes you're right, it's really slow. My son is printing fairly small things and they take hours and hours and make a long series of gronking noises while doing it, that I hadn't taken into account. :-)

I'm slightly wondering if I should start with printing elegant clarinet stands. I reckon we could do really beautiful ones.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-03 20:22

Oh wow! I hadn't seen the image of the mp. It must have taken forever to print. That is fantastic!

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-04-03 21:37

Hank, I have an email off to my son to find out what he thinks.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-04-03 21:55

Fusion 360 is free for non-business use. You just have to get a free trial first for personal use and then it converts to a free license after 30 days.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-03 22:01

Jdbassplayer - Thanks, that's brilliant. Right, I know what I'm doing with my evening then. :-)

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2020-04-04 00:57

The quality of 3D printed equipment notwithstanding, I don't know how 3D printing is ever going to break players away from woods (until they're depleted, of course) for making clarinets, and accept yet another alternate material.

B.

(Who now plays a Grabner Hi-Tech printed mouthpiece that replaced his 15-year favorite.)



Post Edited (2020-04-04 07:31)

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jordan.1210 
Date:   2020-04-04 06:33

I've 3D printed extensions to extend the range of some of my clarinet and I'm currently trying to make a straight bell for my alto clarinet

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Erez Katz 
Date:   2020-04-04 09:23

Hi Jordan,

I was thinking about the alto clarinet, expending it to low D would give it the effective range of a basset horn....

Your bass clarinet extensions were very impressive, have you done more work in that direction?

Erez

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-04 14:45

That sounds great. :-)

I tried sticking a French horn mute in the bell of my Bb clarinet once and playing the lowest note, and when I did that the mute made it sound a full tone lower. It did make me wonder what would happen if I put longer or different bells on the end.

If people are already trying this kind of experiment, is there somewhere that you can publish the results? I mean even if you put the 3D printer file with a description of what you did and the results that you found onto this forum then that would be a fantastic thing for the development of understanding of the clarinet.

(Speaking with my scientist hat on there. This is how academic science works all the time.)

Thanks,

Jen

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-04-04 17:36

I am a member of "Academia.edu". They publish papers from many colleges in the world. I have collected many clarinet and music papers from there. Maybe an entrepreneur here can start a "Clarinedemia" site. There is plenty of 'inside time' now to work on one.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-04 18:58

Hi Ken,

Thanks for mentioning that. Would you mind my asking where clarinet research is all published and how we can see your collection of papers on Academia?

I searched for academic papers on the workings of clarinets, but there seemed to be very few of them in traditional academic journals. Then I saw that there are "The Clarinet Journal" and the magazine of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain, but it's not clear to me whether these are archived by the Universities, and they don't seem to be open access, or considering becoming open access.

Asking around about the science behind the reeds, it seems as though most of this has been done in the companies that make the reeds, and is not published.

I just wondered if there is a "clarinet science" community, publishing open access work to any extent, or even proper text books that are offered for sale? I've seen Joe Wolfe's work in Australia, but that is the only actual publishing research group I've seen.

I find it really interesting, because as a new player I've really noticed that most of the books contain very little real information on the technical side of playing, and I'm having to get most of my information from this forum.

I find it really surprising that in a highly technical discipline like this, the body of community knowledge is still being passed from generation to generation largely by word of mouth.

I have a feeling that if someone took the time, they could extract a huge amount of knowledge from the back-catalogue of this forum and write and absolutely brilliant textbook.

(Ponders how the whole community is in lock-down with time our hands...)

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-04-04 20:13

If you go to Academia.edu, there are sign in tabs, but I have a $9.99 annual subscription which sends me any new papers that I ask for. Unfortunately, many are in Italian which I cannot read.

Here is one source you may have missed?
https://clarinet.org/archives-links/the-clarinet-anthology/

Don't know the answers to many of your questions, but tradition is that it is easiest for a fine teacher to listen and watch intensely what a student is doing and sounding like to help a student advance.

I see on YouTube many videos mentioning, "Which instrument (mouthpiece, barrel bell etc. etc.) sounds better. Unless you have very expensive audio equipment, there isn't enough subtly to tell many times. Maybe with more advanced audio and video it will become more popular

David Blumberg, a member here, is a successful on-line clarinet teacher. Maybe he can chime in.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2020-04-04 20:19

why bot mps

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-04 21:01

Hi Ken,

Thanks, yes I think that video teaching is a huge step forward.

I wonder if youtube, by allowing us to easily share the results of our engineering projects, will become the clarinet equivalent of the Nature journal in science. :-)

That would be great, as it is so extremely accessible to musicians of all ages in all locations.

Jen

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-04 21:03

by the way, sorry for rambling on, I'm stuck in quarantine with the flu, and time is heavy on my hands. Day 8 and counting, so hopefully I can look at a different four walls soon.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jordan.1210 
Date:   2020-04-05 03:27

Erez Katz wrote:

> I was thinking about the alto clarinet, expending it to low D would give it the
> effective range of a basset horn....

> Your bass clarinet extensions were very impressive, have you done more work > in that direction?

I've definitely considered making a low D extension for my alto and even my C or Eb clarinet, but never started any. They're fairly involved projects and a lot of my time recently has been put towards finishing my engineering degree.

I haven't even worked on improving my bass clarinet extensions, though I really want to.

Regarding the straight alto bells, which are 10+ hour prints each, I've failed twice, making a low E quarter flat bell and a low E flat bell (which is ok I guess, but I lose the low E)



Post Edited (2020-04-05 03:31)

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2020-04-05 03:38

A friend has been working on printing a concertina, piece by piece. Apparently he's quite pleased with how it's going, but it looks terrifying in progress! Apparently tuning those things is terrifying under normal circumstances.





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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-04-12 19:41

3D Printing a Basset Horn Crook

I have a Buffet Prestige Basset Horn and I find I have to have the main body of the instrument quite far away from my body in order to have the mouthpiece at a comfortable angle. This also means I have to have the spike fully extended but it’s not quite long enough. What I need is a crook with a tighter radius in the bend to bring the instrument into a more vertical position. The bend on the crook original has a radius of about 20cm, so one half that might be what I’m looking for.

I’m thinking of creating a 3D design of a crook of the required dimensions in something like Fusion 360 and have it 3D printed by a specialist firm. This is a relatively small, uncomplicated part and looks as if it would cost around £20 to £40, plus usual extras to have it printed, depending on the material used. Before embarking on the design, and not having used a 3D design/print before, I have a few questions which those with some experience in this area can probably help me with.

Strength of the material.
The thinnest part of the metal crook (the tenon that goes into the top joint) is about 1.0 to 1.1mm thick. This is dictated by the difference in size between the tenon socket on the top joint and the size bore of the instrument at that point. The original crook is metal (plated copper?) and appears to have sufficient strength for its job as it doesn’t flex. There is also a threaded collar at the top of the tenon on the crook. This can be turned to draw the crook out of the instrument if you need to lower the pitch and acts as a marker for how far out you’ve pulled. I think this collar may also be there to help support the crook at the point, where it is under most stress. I’m wondering whether the moveable collar is not there just as an aid to tuning, but in fact necessary due to the thinness of the material (1.1mm) - it gives additional strength. However, I wasn’t thinking of putting the collar in my design as it would probably be too difficult, I’m only experimenting. That means my 3D crook would be 1.1mm thick to the depth of the tenon. The question is, is it likely that a 3D printing material would be strong enough for this job if it was only 1.1mm thick? If so, which material(s) would that be? Something metallic would be nice, but it’s not essential. Another concern here is that I’d need to have a recess/rebate in the tenon so I could cork it, to give an airtight seal. In some areas the tenon will be less than 1.1mm thick, but all the corked area of the crook would be within the tenon socket when playing.

Accuracy
Would I be expecting too much from 3D printers, or the materials they use, in designing something 1.1mm thick, or less? I’m not sure how accurate the bore of a Basset Horn crook needs to be (as for barrels ?), but can I expect to print something with a consistent bore of 17.3mm? Don’t forget this will be printed on a professional/manufacturing level printer.

Porosity.
I hear some 3D printing materials are porous. I’m not sure whether that’s only to moisture or to air as well, or are they the same (? hot, moist air!). Is this characteristic of the material dependent upon thickness? Virtually all the 3D printed clarinet parts I’ve seen, barrels/bells, are much thicker than 1mm so this may not be a concern when printing those parts.

Finish.
I’m not too worried about cosmetics but I would want at least the bore of my printed crook to be of the requisite degree of smoothness/polish. Are there some 3D materials that have the necessary strength for this job but that could not be given the necessary surface finish (on the inside particularly)?

Any help or advice gratefully received, even if it’s a no go.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-04-12 20:23

JTJC,

What a coincidence, I just finished 3D printing a composite wood neck for a Buffet basset horn/Kohlert alto clarinet.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-e9O9Qg_Iz/

1.1mm is too thin for a functional 3D printed part and will be very fragile. You can see on my neck I used a piece of 3/4" OD brass tubing with a 17mm ID. The tube goes about 1cm into the neck for structural stability. The rest of the bore is 17.2mm.

As for surface finish, you generally need to do a lot of post processing to get an acceptable finish. On the bore, I used a homemade flexible reamer and on the outside I used sandpaper followed by a poly finish.

As for porosity, this is where it gets tricky. For 20 - 40 I would expect it to be printed by a standard FDM printer. Many companies that offer 3D printing services will make the infill and walls as thin as possible in order to save material. I have heard cases of parts not being airtight. Most people who commission 3D printed parts mostly care about aesthetics and don't care if the part is airtight.

If you are going to have a part printed by a 3D printing service, make sure you specify at least a 1.6mm wall thickness and a 20 percent infill. This will bump up the price but will make the part stronger.

But if 3D printing is something that interests you I would highly recommend getting your own printer. An Ender 3 is only about $200 USD and is a very capable machine. Good rolls of material range from $20 - $30 and are enough to print dozens of fairly large parts. It's a very fun hobby with a very active community.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-04-13 20:46

Hi jdbassplayer,

That’s a very helpful response. Thank you, Your crook looks great. Don’t expect I’ll get to that level just yet. I have a few further questions, if you can help (no offence taken if you don’t respond to them).

Was the brass tube component of your crook home made or can I buy tubing like that (¾” external, 17.2mm internal, sounds like an odd size)?

1cm of the brass tube going into the crook doesn’t sound like a lot. Is that proving strong enough? I’d fear that with a fresh cork on the tenon it might easily part company from the crook as it was twisted into the instrument.

How is the brass tube held inside the 3D component? Was the part printed onto the tube or is it held by adhesive. If latter what type is best and how much gap did you leave between the two parts.

If it’s necessary to smooth the bore does that affect dimensions, so has to be allowed for in printing or is it just surface smoothing, so no real effect on bore size?

In terms of colour, I’d probably go for something black or white/grey/silver, to go with the instrument. Which materials would you recommend?

Thanks

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2020-04-14 05:49

It's just standard 19mm or 3/4" brass tubing. The inner diameter is not the same as the bore of the instrument but it is close enough to work. 1cm to me seemed like enough to make it sturdy, I suppose you could go further if you wanted to. The tubing is held in with 2-part epoxy and is very solid. I also roughened the surface of the brass to help the epoxy stick. I think there is a 0.1mm gap between the inner walls and the tubing. Generally sanding/reaming doesn't remove enough material to make a difference with regards to tuning in my experience. If anything my printer creates slightly oversized parts by about 0.1mm and sanding brings it back into spec. With regards to the material, I generally like to use PLA when i'm not using the wood filament. It is the most common material and is very strong, though maybe a bit brittle compared to other plastics.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-04-14 13:19

Thanks jdbassplayer, very helpful.

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 Re: 3D printing and clarinets
Author: clarin-ed 
Date:   2020-04-22 05:12

I am wondering if anyone here has experience printing mouthpieces. Do you find it necessary to hand-finish them post-printing? Is there a concern that the printing material has some level of toxicity? I'm a novice to the 3d printing world; I assume there are many types of materials one can print with.

Definitely an interesting prospect, being able to download a quality design and have it printed at home.



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