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Dreaming Pipes - 3D printing to develop Scottish Smallpipes's video poster
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To make a new chanter using 3D printing, with a range to match the flute/whistle, without altering the basic scale familiar to pipers. Read more

Glasgow, UK World Music
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£5,540
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 30, 2014.

To make a new chanter using 3D printing, with a range to match the flute/whistle, without altering the basic scale familiar to pipers.

Glasgow, UK World Music
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About this project

PIPERS! To become a Beta tester - click on the green "Back this Project" button, and scroll down the list until you see the Beta tester option!

SCOTTISH MUSIC FANS! Grab a hard copy on CD of the extended range Smallpipes album once made - again, click "Back this project", then look down the list and you'll see it there!

I'm using 3D printing to extend the musical range of a popular Scottish instrument, the Scottish Smallpipes, in ways that previously seemed impossible! Without any keys, the 3D printed chanter can currently play from low D, all the way up to high B - about the same range as the penny whistle, and comparable to the Uilleann pipes or irish flute!

The Scottish Smallpipes are a mellow, indoor kind of bagpipe.

As my Kickstarter project moves towards its last week, I'm looking for pipers to sign up as 'Beta Testers' for the extended range chanter. You'll get two copies - one as it stands now, to Beta-test, and one when the design has been fully refined. A reed by Pipe Dreams will also be included.

I'm not a pipe maker. Rather I'm a piper, who through a longstanding fondness for Smallpipes, and a strong desire to have a greater range of notes, has spent the last four years intensively studying the acoustics of the pipes, and designing & producing prototype instruments

Specifically, I'm working on a design for a chanter (melody pipe) for the Scottish Smallpipes, that will play around two octaves, without the use of keys. The conventional range of the instrument is currently nine notes.

If this project is successful, I will offer 3D prints of the finished instrument for sale to anyone who would like one. Project backers will of course get a discounted price! Ultimately I would like to cooperate with pipemakers to make the instrument available to the piping and musical community more generally, I've already had preliminary conversations with pipe makers, about translating the design 'into wood'.The basic design is settled, and plays around an octave and a half just now, so I'm looking to fund as many iterations of the design as I can to be 3D printed. I'm looking to stabilise the instrument in the second register, perfect the tuning, improve the tonal colour, and refine a chanter in every pitch that is practical, beginning with 'A', and moving on to 'G', 'Bb', 'C' and 'D'.

3D printed smallpipe drones
3D printed smallpipe drones

The cost of 3D printing isn't cheap, particularly when it comes to the more accurate industrial printers that I've been using, so I'm coming to "Kickstarter" to see if I can fund this project to completion. From my experience gathered so far I am able to offer donors a range of 'print-at-home' STL files, as well as a 'ready printed' tried and tested 3D printed 'penny' whistle, and a simple set of traditional parlour pipes. These instruments are printed from original, in-house designs. See the video to get an idea of how the current prototypes sound. The instruments you receive will have undergone a further two to six months of development, and comments and suggestions will be very welcome during this process.

Goal - £5,000

The £5,000 funding I hope to gather is to fund the printing of a series of prototypes of extended range chanters and drones on accurate high-spec commercial printers, and to record an album-length set of recordings of the instrument, playing a selection of music that couldn't previously have been played on Scottish Smallpipes. Guest musicians will be taking part, and names of these musicians will appear on this site as the work progresses.

Stretch Goal 1 - £10,000

In addition to the key of A (above) Produce and refine prototype copies of the chanter in the keys of G, Bb, C, D. 

Produce a "tutor book" to introduce pipers to the method of playing the new chanter.

Design and print a modified 3D printed set of drones to accompany the extended range chanter, giving a true bass drone, a 'bass' drone, a 'baritone' drone and a 'tenor' drone.

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In return, you can choose from rewards including a 3D printed penny whistle, a copy of the new extended range chanter, and a full set of Smallpipes, including the new chanter, in black or white plastic.

Enquiries from pipe makers, pipers, and any other interested parties, are welcomed.

Risks and challenges

There are few risks to this project. other than those related to the timescales involved. The 3D print firms to be used have been tried and tested to produce chanters and drones of a good quality. The system of testing and development to be used will allow for the instrument to be refined to a very high degree. Accessing the 'low notes' below the existing scale will be a certainty. Access to high 'b' is currently also certain, although it is not yet 'easy to use'.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £1 or more

    25 backers All gone!

    A 3D printable STL file of a penny whistle, optimised for printing at home on a RepRap, Ultimaker, Makerbot or similar, along with a digital download of a specially recorded album of music demonstrating the new, extended range Scottish Smallpipes. The album will feature guest musicians, of whom details will be posted here as the project progresses. Also includes £1 off the cost of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £5 or more

    6 backers

    A 3D printable STL file of a practice chanter, optimised for printing at home on RepRap, Ultimaker, Makerbot or similar, along with a digital download of the extended range Smallpipes demonstration album, and £5 off the price of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £10 or more

    9 backers

    A set of 3D printable STL files, comprising drones, stocks and chanter for a set of old-style 17th Century Scottish Smallpipes, pitched in the key of "E", and optimised for printing at home on RepRap, Ultimaker, Makerbot or similar, along with a digital download of the extended range Smallpipes demonstration album, and £10 off the price of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £12 or more

    6 backers

    A hard copy on CD of the album to be made, featuring music played on the new 3D printed Scottish Smallpipes, along with guest musicians.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £15 or more

    10 backers

    The STL files for the penny whistle, practice chanter, and the 17thC Smallpipes referred to above, along with a digital download of the extended range Smallpipes demonstration album, and £15 off the price of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £20 or more

    5 backers

    The Ultimate Scottish Musical home 3D printing challenge! A set of carefully constructed STL files, forming a kit for a fully functional set of Highland Bagpipe drones & stocks, to original quality plans. Optimized for printing on a RepRap, Ultimaker, Makerbot or similar. The finished prints will require assembly, due to the build envelope constraints of these printers! Also included is a digital download of the extended range Smallpipes demonstration album, and £20 off the price of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £25 or more

    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    A 3D printed 'D' penny whistle, and £25 off of the price of a copy of the finished chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £35 or more

    33 backers

    All the STLs listed above, penny whistle, chanter, Smallpipes, Highland Pipes. All optimised for home printing on RepRap-based printers. I'll contact you to check your printer's build envelope at time of shipping, and will send you a set of files to fit. Includes pipe bag and bellows laser cut / hand cut templates, and access to assembly instructions for the kits. Also included is a digital download of the extended range Smallpipes demonstration album, and £35 off the price of the finished extended range chanter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £100 or more

    14 backers Limited (11 left of 25)

    NEW April 20th! Become a piper Beta Tester - you'll get a copy of the current prototype, printed at home by me on my Orion Delta 3D printer (this is how the prototype in the current video was produced). Once the design process has been completed, I'll print you a copy of the finalised design, too, so two chanters in all! The price also includes a reed, and a split stock section if your pipes have a split-stock arrangement already. All parts can be sized to fit your pipes - I'll contact you about this if the project is successful. You'll also need to be willing to correspond with me about your experiences with the chanter, hopefully you'll thoroughly road test it. I may well forward more than two versions to the most enthusiastic Beta Testers, and possibly more than one key, it all depends on how much you want to get involved!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £150 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    For Smallpipe players, a copy of the extended range Scottish Smallpipes chanter prototype, in the key of "A" (low D to high 'b'). Available in black or white. Your print will be tailored to fit your own Smallpipes chanter stock, and will include a Smallpipe chanter reed from Pipe Dreams.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £900 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    For the fearless amongst you, and only on "Kickstarter", a full set of in-house designed, 3D printed Scottish Smallpipes in the key of 'A', fully equipped with an extended range chanter prototype. Quality bellows & leather bag and carry case included, instrument supplied ready to play in traditional black (with white or coloured mounts), or in "look it's 3D printed" white! Drones can be bass-baritone-tenor, or bass & two tenors.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (41 days)