Ocarina - fully playable

by seggybop, published

Ocarina - fully playable by seggybop Jan 26, 2014

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Functional "sweet potato" style ocarina. English 5-hole fingering. Plays A4 - B5 -- might be some variation/error depending on your printer.

Was surprised not to see any examples of working printable traditional-form ocarinas up here, so I made this up. Let me know what you think, or recommend any changes. If anyone's interested, I'll make some alternate versions (fingering patterns, shapes, keys).

edit-- whoa, wasn't expecting this much attention. If you like this thing, tips are appreciated. I really need to buy a "real" ocarina to use as a model to have an easier time making different ocarina styles.
doge: D9z5ow3gdANRjB9t6LzZ6abHRSbLWfCG5a
btc: 13aNJBe4SAKhaALa9cnszfPWhSxvhz95n6


The ocarina is split into two halves for reliable printing without support material. Don't rescale it (original size should be ~4.25" long) or it won't play as expected. Print the halves with the flat side down. Use the thinnest layer height you can manage to help prevent problems with the voicing (I used .1mm / MakerWare 'High' preset).

After printing, glue the halves together. Make sure there are no air leaks along the edges.

If you have a printer with dissolvable support material, you should be able to recombine the halves and print it as a single piece, but make sure the airway doesn't get clogged with support.

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can't you just put up the model with metric scales ? just look at the comments, you would make people much happier :D thx

I made an account just to post and say dont waste your time with this ocarina. Its absolutely the worst print ive seen in my life. You wait 8ish hours for the mouth piece to be perfect and still make zero sound. looked in both ends. Waste of abs solvent and abs better off finding a single piece print. Also try uploading in metric. The rest of the world isnt imperial. They use the measurement system that actually makes sense.

Make a better one yourself. Problem solved.

Hey so i printed this and am playing it, and was wondering if anyine has had trouble with the rear thumb hole, all notes work according to chart how to play this but im thinking the rear thumb hile might be too big as any notes that ask for me to lift that are terribly off, im trying to just play a chromatic scale.

I printed this at 2200 scale

When I open the first file in Cura it tells me is only 4.2 x 2.0 x 1.0mm. Surely this cannot be right?

you should use 108 x 50.657 x 44.031 mm. The system took inch for mm.

Thanks I try that.

Feb 10, 2017 - Modified Feb 10, 2017

how long would it take to print this and can you add maybe a couple more holes if not i will just use this template

Why did one of my bottom pieces come out warped and the other flat? Too bad I read to friction weld them together before I came here, I already stuffed it with pvc glue. Oh well, if it doesn't seal I'll do the weld.

Has anyone tried printing this with wood filament? I'm going to give it a go.

I just did, its playing great

did it work well?

Yep! Played great and looked great. Have some finishing work to do but here's the result:


Great design. After a little bit of clean-up, it works great. A note to other users: It won't play until you've glued the seams airtight and the mouthpiece airway has to be completely clear of ALL obstructions. Thanks!

A helpful suggestion if it won't play because of stringers that partially block the passages, either spend a lot of time with an exacto knife trying to clear the passages or, hit it with a culinary torch (very quick blast through the holes) for about a second. Works great with PLA and if you're very careful will smooth of the layer lines as well. I printed the top and it wouldn't play at all cupped in the palm of my hand (not glued together yet as the back is still printing) and it plays great after the torch treatment :-)

Aug 28, 2015 - Modified Aug 28, 2015

Hey there,
I printed and played your Ocarina and made a video of it (it's german but I wanted to share it with you anyway).
Have fun!

What printer do u use? I use a cube with 200 micron resolution.

This is awesome! Could you please upload the source files as well? (Solidworks, etc.) That way, people could tweak it precisely.

May 7, 2015 - Modified May 7, 2015

the lip is not straight. it causes bad sound. other than that its perfect. sources?

I printed the two halves separately and they seem to have warped bottoms. I don't have another chance to reprint it at the moment so any suggestions on sealing it?

friction weld.

What thickness should I print this at? I printed at 100% and the mouth piece was too small to blow into efficiently.

Model downloaded 4.25 mm, not inches.

Had to scale model to ~107.95 mm = 4.25"

Thank you for this!

The Instructions say very specifically to NOT scale this, and print as it is. It's nearly invisible, and printing it at 1000% creates an object about an inch long at the most. It's looking like it would need to be printed at well over 4,000% to get a correct item. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong, that would make it so small for me?

Use inches not metric

You need to change your units to inches rather than mm

Hello! First off, great build! I am using a Da Vinci XYZ 1.0, I printed this build and it came out beautifully. However, I am unable to produce sound, I noticed there was a thin wall that was built just at the end of the mouth piece where it enters the main interior of the Ocarina. I cleared out just enough for air to escape, granted I have not assembled the halves, but even if I fully enclose the half with the mouth piece there is still no sound. I am afraid to assemble the two halves just to have no sound produced. Any advice?

If the halves aren't fully closed together, the wind will leave before first bouncing around causing it to be about the same pitch, which isn't really audible. Hopefully you went for it and just glued them together, though it's 9 months later

I'm having issues with warping on the flat surface. I'm using a Solidoodle 4 my print bed has a blue masking tape and is 110C and my extruder is 210C and I'm also using ABS. If anyone can help me with tips!!!


Made one, and it actually works. Printed in ABS without supports, the inner roof parts were a bit stringy as they should be but sanding them all to a fine finish before glueing the pieces together worked well. Hand to sand the blow hole as well, and reshape a bit the part the air hits when exiting the blow hole - thanks for that particular drawing.
Here is the question - how do I tune it? I mean, it sounds OK if you manage to hit the right air speed but the tones seem a bit off. Is there a way to, say, put a layer of hot glue on the inner side of the blow hole and reduce the amount of air, to change the tonality of the whole thing? Damned if I knew if I use the right expressions, me being a complete novice in what concerns music instruments..

Printed another one, and wanted to ask for a tiny favor - would it be possible to introduce a tiny wall in the blow hole? There where the air exits, it is I presume the bit most important to preserve in the right shape, but if printer without support that bit sags and then has to be reworked one way or another. At least, this is my case..
What would be great is just a tiny layer of support right there across this window.

If someone use metric system use 2540% scale for right size.

Kisslicer actually allows you to convert from imperial to metric on one click, and that's what I have done..

Aug 27, 2014 - Modified Aug 27, 2014

What is the intended way to hold this ocarina? I instinctively went with my left hand controlling the back holes and my right hand controlling the front holes and bottom hole. However my friend found it more comfortable to use her left hand for the left side holes + bottom hole and her right hand for the right side holes. I just tried this and find it comfortable and maybe more controlling but I have to reteach myself the hole positioning and overall I think it doesn't look as cool as the other method.

How does everyone else hold theirs?

After a friend printed this for me it took some time to relearn the fingering positions for this as compared to some home made pennywhistle. I hold it with my left hand on the left-side 2 holes, and right hand on the right-side holes and right thumb on the bottom hole. It seems to me to be a sort of natural way to hold it. It sounds pretty good for what it is, a 3D printed instrument, and with some practice i can mange a few tunes from it already. I would just have preferred more holes to give me a wider, actually higher tone range.

Printed it and it works kind of. I think the note are a little off and you cant blow very hard. If you cover all the holes you have to blow even softer to get it to sound. Technically works and you can identify songs but its not working as good as a clay one that I own.

Is this Ocarina now playing or not ?!

A Friend printed one for me, with some changes to a one-piece print, and it works pretty nice.

Sadly, it can't control time.
Can you fix that?

I put together and when I cover all the holes but the whistle hole, it whistles slightly. However with any holes open not a peep... checked passageway and seal. Any ideas?

I am having the same issue.

How do you print the upper piece without supports? Doesn't the roof of the square hole cave in?

Skeinforge puked hard on the back peice. I imported it into Tinkercad and then saved it back out and am now printing it.

I feel the holes are the wrong way round on this , its held like a pendant ocarina but looks like a sweet potato. might swap the holes round so you can held it like a sweet potato but have the same fingering as a pendant. ie the 2 big holes on the bottom half and the small ones on the top.

It's not wrong. There are sweet potatoes out there that looks exactly like it. http://www.cassellsmusic.com/images/products/large/Sweet_Potato_Zelda.jpg

I made one and it looks exactly like it, but it does not work. Any idea?

The only issue that I had was near the mouthpiece during printing, the print seemed to "Cave In" near the center during that portion due to the lack of support.

It actually did not even print a hole for the mouthpiece, it completely filled it in solid=/

I got the same issue. Anyone have any Ideas?

Its because of slicing. Microsoft has a program that fixes this but I forget what its called. Sorry

netfabb.azurewebsites.net will fix .stl files

Anyone knows, why model size is 4.23 mm and not 4.23 inch? Should I rescale?

I had the same issue in Cura, just rescaled the side measuring 4.25mm to 108mm (4.25")

which program do you use for modelling
which one saves .stl ?


Print came out looking really nice, outside and inside.
After the print and gluing the pieces together with a hot glue gun it gave no sound. I used a conveniently appropriate big plastic strap, which original purpose was to tighten a plastic bag for my bread bag to poke out a small piece of plastic string blocking the airway of the part where you blow.
Now it gives sound, however the smallest hole does NOTHING and it sounds like it's out of tune, I guess you could say? It sounds false. Any ideas?
Just a quick notice: I did print it the correct size, though I had to use rafts as my printer's plate is pretty beaten from all my 3d-printing, maybe that's my problem?

Printed in Crystal clear ABS, 5%infill, 2 shells no raft, but I did print supports, but since they are on the inside cleaning up is a breeze and the holes are easy enough to poke through. Made it for my 8 year old, as she loves legend of zelda :) has played it non stop for 2 days.. sorta regretting printing it out now hahahah

Just printed this. I was dubious about printing those dome curves without support, but it managed it, even if the inside doesn't look super neat. The two halves bowed slightly upwards in PLA due to cooling, so they don't quite come together at the narrow end, but it sounds even with that gap, when just held together. Gluing it up now using Gorilla glue, which may expand enough to fill it.

First attempt: no sound when blown into, held together or not. The inside was crappy because of no support. Shouldn't it still whistle even if the halves are not together? Ours doesn't. Any help would be much appreciated!

If the halves aren't joined very tightly, don't expect any sound at all. It needs to be sealed quite well to make any sort of tone. However, if your print didn't come out cleanly, you should probably also make sure that the air path is clear of debris and the voicing section came out cleanly.

The little tube where you blow into, and the part that splits the stream of air look fine -- The insides just didn't print so well without support. Should I just glue it together with superglue anyway and see if it makes noise?

Any idea why I would be getting no sound, I've printed two, One at .2m layers and the other at .1mm with 2 shells. Still no sound. The first one I get some sound if I blow very very faintly. The other one nothing. If I block all the holes I can barely blow so I think it's pretty thight, still no sound. How could I fix this? Can I increase the blow hole or something? If I blow faintly and I get some sound, was does that indicate?

Might be the airway, so try clearing it with an xacto knife. If there's no sound it's usually some sort of problem with the direction/volume of the air. The incoming air needs to hit exactly at the angled part in the voicing area and any kind of disruption in the path could mess it up there.

This is brilliant! I printed in ABS, 0.15mm layers after scaling it by 25.4 to get it in millimetres. It plays with no fettling at all, and comes out in the key of Bb. I plan to make a few more in different keys now... Thanks Seggybop

I Can't get slicer to work with these files. can anyone recomend anything?

Anyone else getting slicer errors, not manifold, intersecting triangles?

nevermind, netfabb helped.

One of the files is upide-down. Other than that, looks like a good design.

Would me nice for someone to make the bigger one with more holes too :)
But amazing job here!!

I must be missing something here. Either is Slic3r or Kissslicer, these STLs are showing that they only about 4mm long. What am I missing? Thanks,

Scale the parts by 25.4. They probably exported in inches, and this would set them to the right size

I made 2 of these, one with a .3mm layer height and one with .1mm layer height. Both turned out looking right and with nice smooth interiors but neither of them make a sound. I wonder if the angled voice hole is the problem. I used 15% infill/honeycomb as suggested below and printed 2 shells then combined them. Got any suggestions? I'm not sure how to make a proper voice hole bevel if it's out of alignment.

Try using silicone caulk or some other sealant to coat the insides. You want it as airtight as possible.

Added a picture of the cross-section, hope it helps. If you're not getting any sound, maybe check the glue seal on the two halves? I noticed when I was testing that even a little bit of air escaping could kill the sound entirely.

I just realized that my ocarina isn't airtight. I will get back to this if this fixed it

I did it and it works. It is tuned in a flat and it is tricky to hit the highest note other than that it works great. I still prefer my ceramic ocarinas though.

I was able to retune it into a G. It works great and I can play every note.

Plz try and create an 8 hole ocarina

I printed with following settings on a Qu-bd Two-Up for a partial success story (makes noise although needs a lot of tuning). 0.2mm layer height and 15% infill. I recommend just importing in inches - when I scaled it using metric measurements it didn't work as well for some odd reason. I hot-glued the two halves together and sealed the seam by putting a bead of hot glue then smoothing it down with a wet finger. Filing the voice hole so that it's smooth seemed to help some too. It seems to play well with lower pitch sounds. Once I try to make it go on the upper end of an octave it starts to sound airy and quiet.
Cool project. Thanks for making this. Let us know if you improve the design any.

Will be making this soon; If you could attempt to make one in the 8 or 12 variety, I would love to see that!

I considered an attempt at designing a harmony Ocarina (dual-chambered) but I'm concerned over how much plastic I'll use getting it tuned just right.

Nice design, BTW!

Working on getting consistent results with larger chambers now. After I get it sorted out, I'll go for a 12-hole. Then I think I'm going to try to make some kind of excessively complex multi-chambered thing to really take advantage of the printing process.

Edit, I meant 8 or 12 holed variety, just to be clear.

What do you recommend for the amount of infill? I printed one off but I can't get it to make a sound. I thing too much air is passing out through the chamber body.

15% infill (honeycomb) / 2 shells / .1mm layer height

Is there any chance you could give me the dimensions of the holes? I would like to clean up my print and drill the holes out to the right size before I glue it together. Really hoping this works. It looks awesome.

I added a dimensioned drawing. If you're trying to get it super perfect, also keep in mind that the pitch range is determined by the total volume of the chamber, so if there are irregularites on the interior surface they could also affect the tuning. Might be better to adjust the hole size after gluing.

Alrighty. Thanks for the tips! Time to annoy everyone in my house with some zelda music.

For some reason, the stl files here are extremely tiny, like a couple mm long instead of inches

It's constructed in units of inches and your software is probably opening it as millimeters. Use automatic inch->mm conversion or scale it by 25.4x.

is it compatible to the zelda Version?

If you mean to ask if it can play the ocarina songs from Zelda games, then yes, as far as I know. Haven't played in a while, but I don't think any of the songs exceed the range of this. If you search for Zelda song fingering for 4 or 5 hole ocarina, you'll find a lot of tabs that should be easy to play.