Our STL Instrument Kits
The STL Instrument Kits featured on this site were produced as a result of the "Dreaming Pipes" project on Kickstarter.
All have been developed "above and beyond" what was originally offered to backers through that project, and in the course of the work that followed the successful campaign, each instrument became effectively a project in its own right, thoroughly researched and developed in order to offer something genuinely unique in each case.
All the files in every set were limited to a maximum Z height of 100mm (one Qwistle file does flout this regulation by a few millimetres, but an alternative is available on request if required). The intention was to maximise the accessibility of the file sets, by allowing them to be printed even on the smallest commercially available printers & printer kits. Some home built printers may not allow a z height of 100mm, but it is hoped that this won't prove to be an obstacle for too many people.
A plus point of the 100mm limit, is that it can under some circumstances & with some combinations of settings also speed up the printing of the parts, even on larger printers. This is valuable. All of these instruments should be printed at 100% infill, which will be an unfamiliar experience for many printer users, and may require techniques & settings to be adapted to suit. It certainly generates longer print times, so if you decide to try these file sets out, you need to be aware of that - they do take a long time to get right.
As musical instruments, these sets will be in for some punishment during use, above and beyond what most 3D printed items will have to endure. Please bear this in mind when choosing materials, and I recommend making a particular point of performing careful and regular calibrations in between prints. There would be nothing worse than discovering a layer adhesion issue, mid way through a performance!
Factors such as toughness & strength, and layer adhesion, can also be helped through material choice. PLA is good for most of the parts in these sets. ABS can work too, but you will need to be especially careful to ensure the bed is dead level, and I'd recommend using test-prints and callipers to make sure that layers are being laid down optimally before you begin, and the z-height is set as near perfect as you can get it. I emphasis all this, because the pipes in particular, being composed of long thin sections, can be particularly vulnerable to these kind of printing issues.
All that aside, if you are prepared to put some time and effort into printing and hand-finishing these kits correctly, then you should find yourself with musical instruments that you can play to a good standard. It's also a lot of fun to do once you get going :)