Soprano Ukulele

by 3DGuy, published

Soprano Ukulele by 3DGuy Oct 8, 2013


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25705Views 9572Downloads Found in Music


Attention: This Thing was fraudulently entered and won second place in a recent Reddit hosted Lulzbot contest by Reddit user Blink_182 aka Hasan El-Hasan. Do not attempt to pass off my original work as your own!
Full size Soprano Ukulele with 13.875" scale length. Bracing, bridge plate & bridge are all one piece with the body. Pre-slotted nut & frets are all one piece with the neck. The neck fits into the body via a dovetail, without any glue. Tuning pegs are "violin" friction style.


Printed on a Stratasys 1200es.

Originals printed in ABSplus .010" resolution with SOLID infill. I cannot guarantee any other plastic working under string tension and any other infill.
Print the body back side down. Print the neck fingerboard side up. Print the tuning pegs (four required) with one side of the shaft flat to the print plate (I have found they are less likely to slip in this orientation).
Hopefully this doesn't happen to you, but I have had issues with ABS warpage while printing the neck. The dovetail area warped so much that it affected the fit into the body. I have had to take a chisel and re-fit the neck to the body. Cut only the face of the neck that touches the body, NOT the sides of the dovetail, and focus on the heel cap area (small end). It is very easy to screw up the string height while doing this, as well as intonation, be aware. You may need to trim the bottom face of the dovetail and in turn will probably need to wrap paper shims around the back and sides of the dovetail if you alter the fit. No glue required if a tight fit is achieved.
To assemble place the back flat on a table, place the end of the neck into the body dovetail and one good strong push should set the neck. If you need to remove it place the heel cap on a table edge, keep it level and grab either side of the body around the neck with your thumbs and push down on the body.
The finished ukuleles pictured are versions I & II. I do not have the funds/interest to print and test more. This version uses a less traditional bracing system seen in version I because it sounds better than the more traditional bracing found in version II. I have not tested the fit of the finished tuning peg so I include a blank which will allow you to add your own 1/16" hole and trim to length if necessary. The body was designed with a soluble support material in mind with a drainage hole near the neck block. I may add a version with a separate top soon when I have more time.

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Would this work as a 2 piece? For example, the front and sides of the body as one piece, and then just the back piece on it's own so it can be printed without support? Have it connect with a step on the edge and glue it together. Just a though. My print bed is big enough but only have single extrusion. Great design!

I was wondering, what is the difference between the two pegs? I know one is longer, and the other is shorter but has a hole. What is the longer one for?

Do you know how many grams of filament it took to print this design?

what song were you playing cause it sounds like a nice song

Thankyou, it's just something I made up.

Has anyone tried this on a FDL machine? I have several - but have not moved into resin printing yet.
I'm assuming I'd have to get my slicer to add support structures...

How long did it take to print? I would think a couple days at 10 microns. Also, do you own the printer because I would not think that a company would let you print something that would take up days upon days of printing.

I recall between 30-40 hours to print. My work owns the printer, I operate it.

(next - 3D print the case?)

Fantastic!! <- two thumbs up. (I must browse new stuff here more often - I missed this)
I saw your comment in the Thingiverse google group re your design being ripped off.
What does the text inside say? That may be a good tip for designers, tag the design, then it would be much more difficult for the average guy to rip it off. Anyone will skills to remove a tag would probably appreciate the effort that went into it (but there are ars3holes out there).

Hi Michael, do you mean a physical tag on the part? Something that would require an .STL editor to remove? Not a bad idea. The original two I designed and printed had writing in the soundhole but I removed it for the Thingiverse version.

Great work! Would this work on a Replicator 2x? If so, what dimensions do you recommend using?
Thank you.

3DGuy - in reply to yot

Hi and thankyou, unfortunately I have no experience with the printer so I cannot say.

yot - in reply to 3DGuy

Thank you anyhow, and once again, great work!

Im impressed. I had the same thought about the hangars but never tried it. I am thinking of making a silicone mold and using this idea just filling it to get the shapes i need . I wondered if the parts would be able to be put together after they cooled and still have strength. Good luck with your ideas.

Dont know what i did wrong but this message went on the wrong page. It was supposed to be a comment on a 3 D pen idea.

only the body is in the untitled zip file when clicking all files button.

Oct 9, 2014 - Modified Oct 10, 2014
3DGuy - in reply to n2ri

That is strange, I will see if I can fix it.
ETA: I cannot seem to fix it, more like a glitch with the website? Files can be downloaded individually if you click on "Thing Files".

Hi! Well done, this is so clever! Just wondering (and I know you probably said so in your videos) but did you use fishing line for the strings?

Thankyou, I used real ukulele strings, Aquila brand.

This comment has been deleted.

I've worked with the wood PLA a little bit. I do not think it would be strong enough to make a string instrument. It bends and compresses much more easily than regular PLA.

I do not have the means to do so. I've heard of a violin printed in a wood medium that sounds pretty good, so it would be worth a shot to someone who could do it.

Would you be willing to share the SolidWorks files?

3DGuy - in reply to Hsushi

Unfortunately no. I know editing .SLDPRT files is a lot easier than .STL files but I'm just not willing to do it

Aww .. ok I just thought I'd ask. I managed to model something up that looks pretty close. Would it be cool if I posted it?

Sure I'd like to see it.

Quite a work! I'm new to 3D - seems like you'd have to print this with substantial supports inside? If anybody could share their support strategy / settings, I'd appreciate it. I'm on a Replicator 2.

Thankyou. It does require quite a lot of support inside. I printed them on a Stratasys that uses dissolvable support so it isn't really an issue for me.

will you be doing any of the other sizes?

Probably not. You could probably scale it in your printer software, but that may alter some thicknesses in an undesirable way.

Can't find the videos of which you speak. If you could just link one of them in the info it will appear with the pictures for everyone to see.

3DGuy - in reply to cymon

Thanks, I added them.