I have printed off some more parts. I have the top and bottom parts of the body done. These are not the final design. They have places for the 4 switches at the bottom, but the octave switch isn't included. I also want to add switches for the high notes too. At both ends of the body is a ring to allow it to be joined to other pieces.
So I know it has been a while since there has been an update. But I have been busy with a new job. Recently I have gotten a 3d printer and I have been working on the designs for next iteration. Today I printed out usable versions of the mouthpiece and the mouthpiece clamp. There have been a lot of test pieces to get to this point. There are several mouthpieces that didn't quite cut it that are now being used as doorstops.
The mouthpiece is printed out of PETG with solid infill. The air passages are part of the print. The only work it needs is some sanding and polishing, and I need to tap the threads for the machine screw used to adjust the air flow. I went with PETG because it is generally considered food safe, and since this part goes in your mouth we need that safety. The solid infill is so that it will be air tight. When I used a non-solid infill, there was substantial leakage. There is also a fitted pocket for the air pressure sensor.
The clamp is printed out of PLA. The rings on top are so that I can use a nut and bolt to tighten it on. The main body will be build with a cylinder on the end to fit inside the clamp.
So I added some new controls recently. The first is the 4 keys used by the left pinky finger for the lower notes. After playing around with some configurations, I came to the conclusion that shapelock by itself was not up to the task of holding the switches. They just wouldn't stay in place, and the wires tended to get caught up. So what I did was made the piece that fits between the switches and used some small bolts to hold the switches in place. I then used the heat gun to heat that part up on the bottom and attach it to the main tube of the instrument. I used a dremel to cut off part of the end of the tube to make room for the switches (not a pleasant job either). The wires that are coming out of the tube have been wrapped in parchment paper so that they won't stick to the shapelock.
The second thing I added was a small joystick right under the thumb rest. The X axis is mapped to pitch bend, and the Y, to control channel 13. I used some double sided foam tape to hold it on for right now.
So last night I added the octave key. The switch is a small micro switch that had been salvaged from a mouse. The switch has to be recessed into the main tube, so I cut a slot with a small saw. The key on top is made out of shapelock. The hinge point was made by almost cutting it with a pair of dike cutters. you want to the key to be just at the right point where you push it down without taking your finger off the hole.
In this picture you can see where i used the cutters to make a thin area that acts as a hinge.
The biggest thing right now is that the mouth piece assembly is working well. There were a lot of issues with the air pressure sensor. These seem to have been fixed by using double sided foam tape between the sensor and the mouthpiece. There is a small hole in the tape right over the air hole on the sensor. The foam is protecting the senor from moisture in conjunction with a small hole in the bottom of the mouthpiece.
The finger holes are small orings with wires inside used for capacitive touch sensors. This allows for a very light touch.
Right now its somewhat playable, but the next step is to add buttons for octave control and for the high and low notes.