#Qwistle - The Printable Pennywhistle


The #Qwistle is a 3D printable "D" pennywhistle, ideal for playing Irish, Scottish, Kwela, Folk, or whatever you want to play on it! 

On this page, the Qwistle is being offered in digital form, for you to print at home on your own FFF printer. 

If you don't have access to a 3D printer, or would prefer your Qwistle ready-made, then follow this link ;


The Qwistle File Kit provides all the files needed to print copies of the Qwistle on any 3D printer. The file set is optimised for printing on home 'FFF' (Fused Filament Fabrication) printers, of the kind that can be easily & cheaply built according to the plans provided through the RepRap project. The set is also suitable for printing on affordable pre-built printers such as the Printrbot, as component parts have been restricted to a z-height of 100mm or less, and have been arranged in order to be printed without any support.

*Please note, the Qwistle File Set continues to be offered under a CC-BY-SA CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE*

So share it around! Print them, given them to your friends, sell them at coffee mornings, car boot sales (garage sales to those of you in the US?) and whatever else you'd like to do with them - let me know, I'm always interested to hear where the Qwistle's got to now!


Guidance for printer users : (more detailed guidance is available upon purchase, in a ReadMe doc)

All parts should be printed at 100% infill. 

0.24mm layers maximum for the body sections. The head sections will function much better at 0.12 or thereabouts - less if you can spare the time will greatly improve the functioning of the fipple.

Please note that hand finishing may be required in order to get the best from your printed kit. In particular, we recommend smoothing the inside of the instrument bore. This can easily be done using rolled-up sandpaper of progressively finer grades. Also, with care, the inside of the wind way should be smoothed (using small torn strips of sandpaper of suitable size), and the blade ('labium' to you recorder players) and its associated ramp should be *very* carefully smoothed on both sides. Start with as rough a grade as you feel you need to use, to remove the layering, and then progress up to as fine a grade as you can. Think 1200 grit wet & dry at least, to finish it off, by which point you should probably also use a bit of water or spit on the paper, along with elbow grease to help it.

Time and care spent on the outside, too, of a Qwistle printed at 100% infill, can produce surprising results in terms of a shiny surface finish. The embossed text will survive this process very well, and can even be 'inlaid' with paint or other materials if you wish - just be aware that you may sand away the protruding decorative 'beads' unless you're very careful (removing them is one option).

How exactly you shape the wind way and blade during sanding will be the deciding factor in the sound your Qwistle then produces. There's no need to regard the printed pieces as 'finished' by any means, but instead take the time to enjoy customising your sound. You should aim to print numerous fipples, and experiment at length - here are some good places to start looking for the information you'll need in order to understand how to 'voice' a whistle :

Guido Gonzato's "Low Tech" whistle-making guide : Guido also makes these whistles for sale, very well by all accounts

How to Tweak Plastic Mouthpiece / Cylindrical Shaft Whistles : Advice from  Dale Wisely, Jerry Freeman & Joe Wilson on modifications, mainly to the plastic mouthpieces of standard factory-made, shop-bought brass/plastic whistles. Very applicable to Qwistle-tweaking, and hosted by "Chiff and Fipple", which is the next site I've linked to ;

Chiff and Fipple : The whistling centre of the internet, quite probably :)

This reliance on hand-finishing means (happily, I think), that although I originally set out to provide a penny whistle with a sweet, focused tone, moderate volume, clear but sweet bottom hand, easy octave crossing, sweet high notes and a well-tempered scale throughout - and this is indeed what seems to pop out of very accurate high-end printers - in actual fact, armed with the STL set, a humble RepRap, some fine sandpaper and a working knowledge of whistle-tweaking, I think it's actually possible to produce just about any sort of whistle sound the player might want. If the whistler also has a working knowledge of CAD, then the modular nature of the Qwistle will allow for adaptations to the design of any part, mouthpiece, wind way, body, that the player would like to alter.

The potential for customisation has already been used to good effect on a number of occasions, most notably by "Dreaming Pipes" backer Bill Owens, who has created an entirely new instrument in the form of a Qwistle-derived tabor pipe. Custom Qwistles have been created in a number of pitches, keys and even bore sizes, including wide-bore Bb and A Qwistles (with a flute-like tone), and with a whistle customised specifically to provide a scale suitable for Alasdair Roberts' song "Hurricane Brown", which was played at a performance in the Glad Cafe, Glasgow in 2015.

Files can be downloaded immediately following payment.