World's First Slit Drum Piano




I recently entered a reddit contest on the 3DPrinting subreddit to win a brand new Lulzbot Taz 3 Printer! My submission was for the world's first Slit Drum Piano. A slit drum is an idiophone (you hit something to make a note or sound). Multiple slit drums can be tuned and arranged to create a chromatic scale much like a xylophone or a glockenspiel. My design combines the traditional chromatically tuned log drum and adds a simplified piano key mechanism to make it much easier to play. The current design is printed out of ABS plastic at 100% infill and only has 9 notes, which need to be tuned and assembled before the piano can be played. You can view a gallery of images explaining the design and key mechanism in the above imgur gallery.

Tuning it was harder than I thought and I didn't realize that having all the tongues so closely together and all attached to a constant volume resonating chamber would prevent the full range of notes. Normally, one would remove material from the tongue to make the note higher. This worked for the first tongue, but trimming adjacent tongues would change the tuning of the original tongue. Plus after a certain point, I couldn't trim it any further since there's a minimum tongue-length-to-resonating-chamber-volume ratio that I apparently exceeded. I got away with 3 notes though, which was enough to play Mary Had A Little Lamb:

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