3D printing and drumming.

lsits

Gold Member
I just watched the following video about where 3D printing stands now and where it's headed.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_harouni_a_primer_on_3d_printing.html

It got me to thinking about how it could be applied to the drumming industry. I don't think that shell materials will be replaced anytime soon, but the technology could be used in other ways. Say you have a stripped tom mounting bracket on a drum that's not manufactured anymore. You could have digital data sent to a fabricator who could build you a single piece in a matter of minutes. Manufacturers would not have to have warehouses stocked with spare parts, they could just build them on demand.

Obviously, the technology needs to be more advanced and the cost would nave to come down quite a bit, but the idea is fascinating.
 

73Rogers

Member
That video is 2 years old - it's already dated.
Prices have come down and there are even kits so that you can build your own.

You don't even need the 3D printer if you don't need to prototype. With a 3D scanner, you can scan a broken lug for example, "fix" it in the file and then have that file sent off to be machined or a mold made to cast, or whatever process.

Here's an example - imagine a drum part instead of a car part.

There is also a growing movement for people to share their designs and files.

If you're interested, check out the book "Makers" by Chris Anderson.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
73Rogers just beat me to the punch. But I spent too long writing, so I'll post it anyway:

Funny you should mention this. I plan on getting one for home use in the next couple of months. About 7 years ago I wanted to get one for the company I work at and they said, "No, John- you're just going to use it to make drum parts!"

They were right...

But I would have used it to make first generation prototypes for them as well. Before that time the materials for most commercial 3D printers were either a hard, crusty foam or the brittle, cured resin made in stereo-lithography. These were just for visual prototypes or investment castings (an industrial process similar to lost wax castings used for sculptures). Then came the $20,000 machines that could make stuff in ABS plastic. These were for fully functional prototypes or short production runs, but usually not for long term use. Now there's a huge array of materials available like plastics of different hardness fused together, or even metal like your TED video shows, such as titanium, stainless or tool steel. One of NASA's heavy lift rocket engines was made using a process called Selective Laser Sintering which was picked because of the complex geometry of the engine. Basically, a metal powder is distributed on a support while a laser goes along and melts specified points one thin layer at a time. Each layer being less than 1/10,000 inch (1/000mm). Then the next layer is built and the next and so on until it's finished, anywhere from 1/2 hour to several hours later. It builds with ultra fine seamless layers and since there's no feature limitation due to tooling constraints, you can get complex parts with high strength and incredible detail.

Back on Earth we can get 3D printer kits. They don't look as slick as the $20K models but good enough for some stuff and under $1,700. The print cartridge material is plastic line wrapped on a spool and gets fed to a heated nozzle with an aperture of about 0.5mm. I might get something in between those prices. And you mentioned replacing obsolete, stripped mounting brackets. Obviously it will be years for metal laser printers to make it to home use. But 3D scanners are in the $3,000 range. You could scan your Black Beauty hardware or Gladstone snare throw and save it as a file that could be used in a Rapid Prototype shop. Or maybe the hammer patterns on your favorite cymbal for some future use...

Cool Stuff.

-John
 
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lsits

Gold Member
I didn't realize that the video was ancient history. It's all new to me.

I'm not sure it would be economically viable for a home to have an industrial-grade 3D printer. I can envision a scenario where someone goes into a Kinko's or similar establishment with a broken mounting bracket, has it scanned, and then made for them on the spot. "Do you want that in nickel, steel, or brass?" 30 minutes later he's walking out the door with a new bracket for about $20. People would definitely pay extra for that kind of convenience.

I think this type of technology will benefit smaller start-up companies tremendously. Prototypes can be built and assembled in almost no time. Small production runs can be done without the high cost of re-tooling every time. Custom orders would be a snap. The sky's the limit.
 

slowrocker

Silver Member
I need one of those- I could print of some new drums.

That sounds so crazy that you can actually print something other than, like paper.

And yes, I am behind the times.
 

DANDRUM

Junior Member
I just watched the following video about where 3D printing stands now and where it's headed.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_harouni_a_primer_on_3d_printing.html

It got me to thinking about how it could be applied to the drumming industry. I don't think that shell materials will be replaced anytime soon, but the technology could be used in other ways. Say you have a stripped tom mounting bracket on a drum that's not manufactured anymore. You could have digital data sent to a fabricator who could build you a single piece in a matter of minutes. Manufacturers would not have to have warehouses stocked with spare parts, they could just build them on demand.

Obviously, the technology needs to be more advanced and the cost would nave to come down quite a bit, but the idea is fascinating.
Done.
3D printers able to make drum shells cost less than 10,000. Personal home machines, (that could make wood or plastic mallets or sticks) cost around 500.00
3D printing now allows the designer to be the fabricator.
The tech is very advanced.
The costs are very low - compared to sticks and drums.

Indeed, fascinating.
 
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