3D printed ukulele comes with open source software – 3D Printing Industry


September 2, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


A team of designers from Taiwan recently have created an open-source 3D printed electronic ukelele. This could very well to be the first open-source one in the world. With a full-size fretboard, regular strings and tuners, and a custom-made amplifier, pick-up, and speaker, the exotically shaped ukelele was named Lightening Uke and was particularly designed for consumer 3D printers.

No matter for masters or green-hands, an ukulele would always be a good choice to play because of its portability and user-friendliness. However, few of these players would claim to be able to play “Over the Rainbow” with a 3D printed instrument. Surely we have already seen several 3D printed instruments online, (like the 3D printed violin) but these Taiwanese designers noticed that there weren’t any open-source ukuleles and that’s why they decided to bring this unique instrument to all makers.

Their inspiration came from a small Japanese electronic guitar with a built-in microphone and speaker. The team agreed that they could use a similar method to compensate the loss of resonance by making built-in electronic devices, which could be achieved with the hollow wood body of a ukulele. Considering that their plastic work wouldn’t need a normal sound chamber, designers could display their creativity freely. A truly rock n’ roll piece, the Lightening Uke is waiting for makers to add any bright colors that they want!

image: nanjixiong

image: nanjixiong

They used Paper from Fiftythree to sketch the initial picture and then used 123DDesign from Autodesk to produce a prototype. After one simplification, they started to use the MakerBot Replicator 23D printer to create a model, which is guaranteed to be 3D printable on any 6 x 6 inch print bed of a consumer 3D printer. The whole model was PLA printed without any backing materials. The total printing time was 15.5 hours (main body: 9 hours, neck: 4 hours, processing: 2.5 hours).

Though with a peculiar outlook and production method, the Lightening Uke plays just the same as a traditional ukulele. This standard high-pitched instrument is 42cm (16.5 inch) long, made of authentic ukulele strings, tuner and a 6.5mm jack. Its build-in microphone and speaker enables players to play at any time in any place.

image: nanjixiong

image: nanjixiong

Feature image: nanjixiong

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A team of designers from Taiwan recently have created an open-source 3D printed electronic ukelele. This could very well to be the first open-source one in the world. With a full-size fretboard, regular strings and tuners, and a custom-made amplifier, pick-up, and speaker, the exotically shaped ukelele was named Lightening Uke and was particularly designed for consumer 3D printers.

No matter for masters or green-hands, an ukulele would always be a good choice to play because of its portability and user-friendliness. However, few of these players would claim to be able to play “Over the Rainbow” with a 3D printed instrument. Surely we have already seen several 3D printed instruments online, (like the 3D printed violin) but these Taiwanese designers noticed that there weren’t any open-source ukuleles and that’s why they decided to bring this unique instrument to all makers.

Their inspiration came from a small Japanese electronic guitar with a built-in microphone and speaker. The team agreed that they could use a similar method to compensate the loss of resonance by making built-in electronic devices, which could be achieved with the hollow wood body of a ukulele. Considering that their plastic work wouldn’t need a normal sound chamber, designers could display their creativity freely. A truly rock n’ roll piece, the Lightening Uke is waiting for makers to add any bright colors that they want!

image: nanjixiong

image: nanjixiong

They used Paper from Fiftythree to sketch the initial picture and then used 123DDesign from Autodesk to produce a prototype. After one simplification, they started to use the MakerBot Replicator 23D printer to create a model, which is guaranteed to be 3D printable on any 6 x 6 inch print bed of a consumer 3D printer. The whole model was PLA printed without any backing materials. The total printing time was 15.5 hours (main body: 9 hours, neck: 4 hours, processing: 2.5 hours).

Though with a peculiar outlook and production method, the Lightening Uke plays just the same as a traditional ukulele. This standard high-pitched instrument is 42cm (16.5 inch) long, made of authentic ukulele strings, tuner and a 6.5mm jack. Its build-in microphone and speaker enables players to play at any time in any place.

image: nanjixiong

image: nanjixiong

Feature image: nanjixiong

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