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M/Pieces - Ligs 3D printing a mouthpiece

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
With 3D printers just starting to get more affordable, wouldn't it be great to print your own mouthpiece design or someone else's design with the touch of a button? I'm guessing the materials might not be quite up to the job yet but once the technology improves the possibilities are endless, maybe even print your own plastic reeds!

See here for more info - http://cubify.com/cube/index.aspx
 

Dave McLaughlin

Sesquipedalian
Subscriber
Messages
307
Yes, I've often thought about printing mouthpieces. And most (all?) 3D printers can use ABS. That's a pretty decent material - rugged, non-toxic - Lego have been using it forever.

I guess they tricky part is inputting the design - a CAD system is one way, and legal, if time consuming. If you want to 3D scan an existing mouthpiece, that could be more difficult, and I don't know what the legal ramifications are.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,999
Morgan said in another thread that he'd been looking at this, but that even the expensive pro ones weren't accurate enough for mouthpiece work.... Maybe it's just a matter of time.Certainly worth keeping an eye on - and as a way of repairing/replacing broken plastic parts on toys and things.

We'll be printing saxes next...
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
I'm actually experimenting with that right now! the diameter of the trheads are0 .257 mm so that`s your surface roughness, but there are companies that can reach 0.1 mm. The inside of mpc right after the chamber I used dimples like a golfball to experiment with increasing the airflow within an MPC.

if you look on SOTW you can find my thread about it. I measured the facing curve using a 3d measuring device and made a real accurate copy of the facing. the rest of the inside is copied from an STM 5* for alto.

below a pic what I drew, It's going to get printed this month. I can do it this one time for free, but I have to wait until he has more objects to fill the printer.

 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
881
Wow. Really exciting stuff. Is the day coming when a new mouthpiece will just be a download?
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
Wow. Really exciting stuff. Is the day coming when a new mouthpiece will just be a download?
who knows? I think the surface roughness is to much for a decent mpc, but touch up the rails and it will play i'm sure of that.
But I have to see how it comes out of the printer, and then i'm going to make adjustments and print it in finer detail.
 
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JasonC

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
Yes, I've often thought about printing mouthpieces. And most (all?) 3D printers can use ABS. That's a pretty decent material - rugged, non-toxic - Lego have been using it forever.

I guess they tricky part is inputting the design - a CAD system is one way, and legal, if time consuming. If you want to 3D scan an existing mouthpiece, that could be more difficult, and I don't know what the legal ramifications are.
I guess the creating objects is the hard part although, not for me as I'm CAD trained, which is why I'm pretty excited about this technology :) What would happen though is that there would just be a library of objects that you could download, and maybe even simpler drawing packages to make tweaks to these files.

I'm actually experimenting with that right now! the diameter of the trheads are0 .257 mm so that`s your surface roughness, but there are companies that can reach 0.1 mm. The inside of mpc right after the chamber I used dimples like a golfball to experiment with increasing the airflow within an MPC.

if you look on SOTW you can find my thread about it. I measured the facing curve using a 3d measuring device and made a real accurate copy of the facing. the rest of the inside is copied from an STM 5* for alto.

below a pic what I drew, It's going to get printed this month. I can do it this one time for free, but I have to wait until he has more objects to fill the printer.
Excellent! keep us posted on this!

I know the surfaces aren't that great at the moment but, if you imagine the technology improving like ink-jet printers, the resolution, speed etc will only get better, making stuff like this actually feasible to the average user. I'm seriously considering buying one of those home 3D printers just to start getting into it and making things :)
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
yeah I'm quite a decent CAD drawer to, but there are a lot of complex forms in a mpc like an OL, in hindsight I could've chosen an easier mpc especially the walls are difficult. not neglecting my other responsibilities like school and music and a whole lot more. I still think there`s about 20hrs work in it. to be precise:
4 planes + 28 fillets + 84 sketches + 39 extrudes +8 revolve-cuts + 2 loft cuts = a lot of work.

But one of the more promising things is printing metal, you can harden the objects afterwards and machine them however you want. Except you would be paying $400,- for just the print..
 
OP
JasonC

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
yeah I'm quite a decent CAD drawer to, but there are a lot of complex forms in a mpc like an OL, in hindsight I could've chosen an easier mpc especially the walls are difficult. not neglecting my other responsibilities like school and music and a whole lot more. I still think there`s about 20hrs work in it. to be precise:
4 planes + 28 fillets + 84 sketches + 39 extrudes +8 revolve-cuts + 2 loft cuts = a lot of work.

But one of the more promising things is printing metal, you can harden the objects afterwards and machine them however you want. Except you would be paying $400,- for just the print..
Yes I think being a CAD person will have a huge advantage where this technology is concerned, what software do you use?

Being able to print metal would be brilliant. The only problem I can foresee (and using plastic of course) is that manufacturers could go out of business if this technology takes off and improves enough, although they could sell there designs I suppose but, this would then be open to piracy. Want a new case for you phone? just print one off, why bother going to the shop to buy one!
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
Yes I think being a CAD person will have a huge advantage where this technology is concerned, what software do you use?

Being able to print metal would be brilliant. The only problem I can foresee (and using plastic of course) is that manufacturers could go out of business if this technology takes off and improves enough, although they could sell there designs I suppose but, this would then be open to piracy. Want a new case for you phone? just print one off, why bother going to the shop to buy one!
I use Solidworks (2012) for CAD drawing. And I dont think manufacturers will go out of business, maybe their margins will have to go down a bit. But look at the Metalite pieces, they are cheap and made of comparable material. you are still looking at 2 to 3 times the price of a metalite..

printing mouthpieces falls mostly under rapid prototyping, and not rapid manufacturing (yet), so you are dealing with single piece productions, in stead of a couple of hundred with the manufacturers.

but if you want to use complex forms (as i do) you are bounded to use 3d printing, the inner form I have made is to complex to machine and not possible with casting.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Wow. Really exciting stuff. Is the day coming when a new mouthpiece will just be a download?
You will not need to download a mouthpiece. You will be able to download directly a recording of what you want to play.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
yeah I'm quite a decent CAD drawer to, but there are a lot of complex forms in a mpc like an OL, in hindsight I could've chosen an easier mpc especially the walls are difficult. not neglecting my other responsibilities like school and music and a whole lot more. I still think there`s about 20hrs work in it. to be precise:
4 planes + 28 fillets + 84 sketches + 39 extrudes +8 revolve-cuts + 2 loft cuts = a lot of work.

But one of the more promising things is printing metal, you can harden the objects afterwards and machine them however you want. Except you would be paying $400,- for just the print..
I remember your post on SOTW, but i missed the end.
You main concern at the time was the facing.
0.1 mm is quite a big margin.
How did you cope with it?
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
I remember your post on SOTW, but i missed the end.
You main concern at the time was the facing.
0.1 mm is quite a big margin.
How did you cope with it?
not... yet, I just kept sizes in that margin but how it turns out is one of the things I'm curious about. Some sanding/polishing maybe required. I'll know next month when it`s printed and all.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
not... yet, I just kept sizes in that margin but how it turns out is one of the things I'm curious about. Some sanding/polishing maybe required. I'll know next month when it`s printed and all.
Please keep us updated.
I recently tried some mouthpieces as they come from the cast, without a proper facing applied, and they played. But the facing side of the business can be tricky.
 
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Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Yes I think being a CAD person will have a huge advantage where this technology is concerned, what software do you use?

Being able to print metal would be brilliant. The only problem I can foresee (and using plastic of course) is that manufacturers could go out of business if this technology takes off and improves enough, although they could sell there designs I suppose but, this would then be open to piracy. Want a new case for you phone? just print one off, why bother going to the shop to buy one!
On the contrary, manufacturers will be the first to adopt the technology, for making things that are impossible to machine and molds expensive to make. It will be cost prohibitive for anyone else for quite a while.

You're right though, that it won't be too long before some things won't need to be made in bulk anymore. But this is a good thing. Your phone case is a perfect example. Buy (or draw yourself) a model, print it -- or email it to a local shop to have printed (remember when there used to be copy/printing shops before everybody had a £40 inkjet printer?). Don't need to have a machine shop in china make the molds for another shop to injection mold tens of thousands of them and ship them around the world. A ton more stuff will be made locally, and cheaper.
 
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