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M/Pieces - Ligs 3D printing a mouthpiece

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
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.
When I had the first ones printed I was really surprised how playable they were. I thought that with .1mm the facing would need work, but they were fine -- not exactly to spec, but playable, good enough for the chamber prototyping I was doing.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,122
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.
This gives me some hope in the future, as long as some skills don't get lost.
I have always been curious to know what the original facing technique was (the one with no machines involved).
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,122
When I had the first ones printed I was really surprised how playable they were. I thought that with .1mm the facing would need work, but they were fine -- not exactly to spec, but playable, good enough for the chamber prototyping I was doing.
Just checked your website. Does Zinner make the blanks on your specs after the first prototype you made with 3d printing?
 
OP
JasonC

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
Yes being able to print your own thing at home may take work away from some manufacturers but, then I guess it will create new opportunities for either those manufacturers or new ones. One opportunity that I can think of is developing a cad package to create mouthpieces with ease! I've already designed and had developed my own bespoke CAD software so, creating an add-on to do this shouldn't be too difficult, I'm already jotting ideas down! obviously were still a way off creating high quality 3D prints but there's no harm in being ready for them :)
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,122
Yes being able to print your own thing at home may take work away from some manufacturers but, then I guess it will create new opportunities for either those manufacturers or new ones. One opportunity that I can think of is developing a cad package to create mouthpieces with ease! I've already designed and had developed my own bespoke CAD software so, creating an add-on to do this shouldn't be too difficult, I'm already jotting ideas down! obviously were still a way off creating high quality 3D prints but there's no harm in being ready for them :)
That means less noise in the refacer's ear (with a bit more edge, but longer facing, rounder, fat sleek beak...) and more in the unlucky wife's.
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Just checked your website. Does Zinner make the blanks on your specs after the first prototype you made with 3d printing?
I am in the process of upgrading/updating my website and product line so some of the information there is no longer correct. For instance, I am no longer using Zinner blanks. I machine them myself. I used 3d printing for a while while I was developing the CAM programming and machining process, but now I find it quicker and cheaper to machine prototypes in acetal myself.
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
This gives me some hope in the future, as long as some skills don't get lost.
I have always been curious to know what the original facing technique was (the one with no machines involved).
Some skills will get lost. For instance, nobody remembers how to make buggy whips anymore.

Original facing technique has to have been lapping by hand. I still use it to finish my pieces. Starting with computer models is the best way to make most things these days, and you really can get very consistent results from CNC machining or 3d printing. But I'm still attached to doing some things the old fashioned way. I never had a piece come off the machine that was perfect, couldn't be improved. Nor have I seen one straight out of anyone else's machine that I could say that about.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
When I had the first ones printed I was really surprised how playable they were. I thought that with .1mm the facing would need work, but they were fine -- not exactly to spec, but playable, good enough for the chamber prototyping I was doing.
thank you that`s reassuring. and it`s exactly what i'm doing. leaving all factors the same except the chamber gives a proper idea of the effect of the chamber.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
Hi everybody, I posted this on SOTW too, where this is the last update of a 4 page thread. But I wanted to share this with you lovely people too.

Hi everybody,

Finally some time to share my experience with printing you own mouthpiece.

Designing:The mouthpiece is at this stage “based-on” a modern alto Otto Link STM 5* this means that the facing curve used in the drawing is the same as the STM but the internal shapes are loosely based on and adapted to my own needs. Those “needs” also includes easier to design into a 3D-CAD program. Some dimensions are probably caused by the casting method along with some other features on the mouthpiece ( seam in window for example).

Printing:
The printing is on its own not a big deal, I just do Save as; STL and sent it by mail to the operator.
This one was a freebee at school which I could get some credits for. But the machine at school isnt the latest technology and not so precise. Not so precise means that the plastic droplets which on this printing method have a radius of .27 inch I believe (not sure).


The Result:
Looked good.. the surface roughness was way rougher than I expected. The chamber is now “ribbed”(?) this is called staircasing, this is the inaccuracy of the printer what I mentioned.
As the facing was shot, I fixed it up a bit myself, but I still wasn`t satisfied (though it played well). I was also planning to send my lebayle to the refacer forementioned and he suggested he would take a look at it and fixed the rails.

how it plays?
It plays good, it has a nice tone, quite flexible and for some reason I can bend notes much further before they break as to other mouthpieces. It speeks good! for me it plays best with a vandoren 3 or a Legere 2½. Also what sticks out is that with the vandoren reed I can play the high notes much louder before the reed stops.

some pictures int his dropbox gallery:
https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/19536871/1/mpc?h=46261a

I made 2 recordings, one a bit softer like a ballad, and the other is a bit of everything. Both just some random playing/improv.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19536871/mondstuk/KB1.mp3
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19536871/mondstuk/KB2.mp3
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,685
Fascinating, thanks for posting.

You refer to the droplets having a radius of .27 inch. I presume this isn't right - do you mean .27mm or .027 inch (Surely you're working in metric?). Do the latest generation machines have finer resolution? I was reading about this technology in an engineering magazine a few months ago, and the implication was that an almost perfectly smooth shape could be built up.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
Fascinating, thanks for posting.

You refer to the droplets having a radius of .27 inch. I presume this isn't right - do you mean .27mm or .027 inch (Surely you're working in metric?). Do the latest generation machines have finer resolution? I was reading about this technology in an engineering magazine a few months ago, and the implication was that an almost perfectly smooth shape could be built up.
I'm not sure what the guy said, but I do know they were imperical radii but it can be that he allready did the conversion... so It's probably .27mm.

The newer machines defenitely haver a better resolution, I printed (somewhere else) my own "neck-enhancer" a while ago, and this is perfectly round and has some more complex curves in itself too. But this one was a freebee and me being a student I had to grab that chance. If I want to print it more detailed it`ll cost me about 33 pounds (41 euro) not such a steep price, but thats a big part of my monthly income..
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
428
What chamber design did you use?
more or less the OL type; concave floor and with an even slope down into the throath, and with rounded walls offc.


Thanks for this info, I'd read a bit about 3D printing on the Shapeways website - http://www.shapeways.com/ and it seems like it has a lot of potential. Someone's already working on a flute - http://youtu.be/zwHgszH0aqI
Hopefully as the resolution of the printers improves you'll be able to get a smoother finish
Yeah I think it's allready sufficient, but that test will come around in summer when I improve my current mouthpiece and then I'm going to experiment with shapes/features that cant be machined and/or cast. I allready did something like that but due to the surface roughness I cant say anything specific about its effects.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
That´s a nice idea mate!

I always wondered about experiencing with mouthpiece designs in softwares like Solid Works, running them through wind tunnel software simulators and observing the behavior of the air flux, resonance, vibrations, etc...

There´s a lot of mysticism among musicians; a lot of what we could call "placebo effect" connected to the brand, not the quality of sound. I wish we could do some blind tests with several mouthpieces; my guess is that the results would be very surprising.

What material does that printer use? Just make sure it´s non toxic, right?

If you´re having problems with printing resolution, maybe you should try using CNC with metal instead of printing. Mouthpieces are small, so it shouldn´t be so expensive.

Cheers,

Raf.
 

Clivey

Senior Member
Messages
967
This is just so promising..

You 2 young guys ( koen88 & Raf) should get together .

The potential for music based product development is off the scale with this technology. Anything from a humble case to a blinking Concert grand piano.

Happy Days ahead I think.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
This is just so promising..

You 2 young guys ( koen88 & Raf) should get together .

The potential for music based product development is off the scale with this technology. Anything from a humble case to a blinking Concert grand piano.

Happy Days ahead I think.
This is a very nice subject indeed, my friend.

We could certainly take it one step further.

Could you imagine how cool it would be to just go to a website and customize a mouthpiece, just moving some slides to test different characteristics, receiving audio feedback in real time? Then you just press enter when you´re happy with the result and your mouthpiece would be printed and ready to ship in just a few hours.

It would be just so cool!

It´s not an easy project, but it´s totally feasible. Developing this online interactive mouthpiece simulation would be a big challenge but totally possible.

The possibilities are endless; literally.

Could you imagine if you could upload a sound sample from your own saxophone and then design the perfect mouthpiece with this simulator, receiving feedback on-the-fly? Just awesome!

I think we have a good business opportunity here. If anyone has resources to invest, I would gladly participate as an Industrial Designer.

The prices would be quite competitive as well, since once you have the printer, the printing material and machine maintenance are very cheap.

The major investments would be the printer itself and the programming of the software, which would require a damn good team of programmers and a lot of development hours.

Hahahahaha...Crazy idea!

Raf.

PS: In fact, as a start, one could just focus on the software and use one of the already available 3D printing websites ( http://www.shapeways.com/ )for printing and shipping.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,999
How're you going to dial your own anatomy and playing into that?

This is a very nice subject indeed, my friend.

We could certainly take it one step further.

Could you imagine how cool it would be to just go to a website and customize a mouthpiece, just moving some slides to test different characteristics, receiving audio feedback in real time? Then you just press enter when you´re happy with the result and your mouthpiece would be printed and ready to ship in just a few hours.

It would be just so cool!

It´s not an easy project, but it´s totally feasible. Developing this online interactive mouthpiece simulation would be a big challenge but totally possible.

The possibilities are endless; literally.

Could you imagine if you could upload a sound sample from your own saxophone and then design the perfect mouthpiece with this simulator, receiving feedback on-the-fly? Just awesome!

I think we have a good business opportunity here. If anyone has resources to invest, I would gladly participate as an Industrial Designer.

The prices would be quite competitive as well, since once you have the printer, the printing material and machine maintenance are very cheap.

The major investments would be the printer itself and the programming of the software, which would require a damn good team of programmers and a lot of development hours.

Hahahahaha...Crazy idea!

Raf.

PS: In fact, as a start, one could just focus on the software and use one of the already available 3D printing websites ( http://www.shapeways.com/ )for printing and shipping.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
How're you going to dial your own anatomy and playing into that?
Well, nothing is perfect.

The human factor is extremely important, but not possible to be applied in this case; too many variables.

Anyway, I´m sure it would give a really nice estimate of the mouthpiece´s properties and behavior, but not perfect.

The closest we could get is with a feature that would enable someone to upload it´s own sound clip and then run it through the mouthpiece simulator.

One could also run pure sound waves on the simulator, to have an idea of the sound properties subjected to several kinds of frequencies.

Cheers,

Raf.
 
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aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,122
How're you going to dial your own anatomy and playing into that?
Don't be negative! You can have a new mouthpiece in 24 hours and spend the following 10 year learning how to play it! It better than spending months looking for a mouthpiece and 10 years learning how to play it.

P.S. At the end we will all end up with a link or a meyer replica.
 
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