Printable Trumpet

by LtDan, published

Printable Trumpet by LtDan Feb 1, 2015

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http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:772936 is a better version of this trumpet if you're interested in building one.

This is a 17 piece printable trumpet. It was modeled somewhat after a Bach Stradivarius. I have printed one myself and the sound quality and playability is honestly pretty bad. The reason I am posting my files is so people can try their hand at improving the design and to print it for themselves.
You can see more pictures of mine here: http://imgur.com/a/k68R2

It takes a while to make this. Almost all the parts require post printing work and some require a lot of it. Probably 5ish days of just printing time.

Here is a video of me attempting to play it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1j_d2mSGng.
As I said, it doesn't play well at all.

If you have any design questions or need help please message me.

Edit (4/15/15) I uploaded the new version as a remix here. It's the same thing that was in the dropbox that I sent to some people earlier.

Edit (3/8/15) I have redesigned everything and started printing a new trumpet. The new version will be much more printer friendly (all the pieces will be under 5.5 inches) and I am fairly confident It will have a significantly better sound.

New parts added 2/8/15 Check instructions for details.


Don't make this one go here instead.

There are 17 pieces in this build. The file
"TMPT_2ndValveTube" gets used twice.

Here is a diagram of the assembly: http://i.imgur.com/u9OzPGd.png.

Important Info! jk ignore all of this

  • EDIT- 2/8/15 For those of you who have printers with small build volumes I've split four of the longer pieces into two and I've uploaded the eight new pieces with each named "filename"_CUT. I believe now if your printer has 5 inches available in each axis all the parts should be printable. I did NOT do anything to make these new pieces fit together. I only cut them in half. I assume they can be glued together but I cant promise anything. Ignore these files if you have 22 cm or so available in your z axis.

  • I printed mine in ABS. I'm not sure this would work well at all with PLA. It requires lots of sanding and post printing work. I broke many of my pieces multiple times and was able to fuse them back together with acetone. I also fused the six pieces that attach to the valve chamber with acetone. If you don't have acetone, nail polish remover will work just as well.

  • Files "TMPT_Bell" and "TMPT_BellTube" are about 23 cm tall. This might be too tall for some printers so be aware of what your build volume is. If you don't have 23 cm on the z axis, I suggest cutting the piece in half and printing it in two parts. Or you could take 1 cm off the top of the joint.

  • The pieces are designed to fit together tightly. They might not fit together straight off the printer and you may need to do some sanding/honing. This is especially true for the valves and valve chamber. I spent a couple hours working on each valve slot.

  • The following parts need some kind of support or flat surface to be printed "TMPT_ValveChamber", "TMPT_1stValveTube", "TMPT_2ndValveTube", "TMPT_BellCurve", and "TMPT_LeadCurve". I used MeshMixer to generate support towers, I strongly recommend that you don't ever generate support inside a tube. If you would like my supported .stl files of these parts let me know.

  • To print all of these parts you need days of printing time. I printed half the parts at 0.1 layer height and the other half at 0.2. The file "TMPT_ValveChamber" took 17 hours at 0.1.

  • The file "TMPT_ValveCap" was designed poorly and the two hooks on the side that were supposed to snap into the valve chamber are useless. I suggested cutting them off in a design program or just breaking them off after it prints. Because of this you will have to use rubber bands to hold the valves down.

  • Several of the pieces have pins that correspond to holes on the valve chamber these can be fragile and may need to be carefully sanded. They can be shortened in a design program for easier use. The file "TMPT_1stValveTube" has a pin that is too long for the hole on the valve chamber. You can either cut it in a program or file it down after it prints.

  • You will need to buy 3 springs to push up the valves. The design of the valve chamber somewhat restricts the number of springs that will work. You will need to find springs that can be compressed under 4 mm, extend further than 16 mm, and have a diameter that can fit in the bottom of the valve chamber. Something I suggest is extending the bottom part of the valve chamber 1 or 2 mm.

  • VERY IMPORTANT - Don't expect to be able to learn to play with this. It doesn't work well at all. That's why I need your help to improve it. I'm including the .sldprt and .step files so that people can work on it.

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can it be scaled down? i dont like to use that much filament would it be higher pitched?

wow! that is something new as i listen in my opinion i would say the 3d printed mouthpiece made the real one sound much more clear and vibrant sound. id use it that way old new together sounded great!

it sounds like a Kazoo hahah very cool

It may bee also fun to make a mouthpiece for a pet bottle

I would be very interested to see a tuba be printed. Yes they are big but that is the instrement i play in band so i want to see if it could be done. Also if i brought this to my band directors they would hate it. XD i would hate it too because of the sound but would also love it because its a printed instrament.



if u ask me, it sounds just as good ;)

Ive finished making it. In terms of sound i havent gotten anywhere with the trumpet as a whole, but i tested the individual sections with the mouthpiece and found the trouble spot to be the valve chambers. After a decent amount of sanding i got the valves to go in, but there are air leaks still. Is there any particular way of sanding down the valves i can use, or in order to prevent air leaks will i just have to sand down the inside of the valve chambers?

Though the new version is out, I have decided I'm still going to continue making this old version of the trumpet. Ill post a make sometime within the next week if all goes well.

There isn't a significant improvement in the sound of the second one. For the most part it just prints a little nicer. Good luck with the printing!

I would like the link to the new trumpet model.

Can I please also get a link to the newer version? thx in advance

No problem!

Could I please have a link to the new version as well, and are there any parts on it compatable with those of the old design?

Can I please also have a link? Thanks!!

Can I also get a link to the newer version?

Yeah I sent you a message.

Comments deleted.

Can I get a link to the dropbox with the new files?

Sent you a message.

Comments deleted.

I'm from a startup company called Monolith Studio and our first prouduct is a desktop electroplating equipment named Orbit1, which is going to hit Kickstarter soon. We are very impressed by your trumpet and expect to electroplate it with with copper as the demo in our kickstarter movie. Could we have your consent to use the model for the crowdfunding campaign? If it is fine for you, could we have the dropbox link to the new model?
Thank you.

I sent you a message.

Thank you so much. I 'll upload the picture once we finish the plated trumpet.

I recently modified the size/dimensions of a thing called Pillar by Croata to provide support in the area which I needed it on the valve chamber. I will probably post a file soon as a remix with a note to generate support for the other areas.

Comments deleted.

Can I get a link to the dropbox with the new files?

Comments deleted.

I sent you a message.

thought this article might interest you http://3dprintingindustry.com/2015/03/07/3d-printing-an-open-source-trumpet/ this trumpet doesn't sound right either.

I don't find the pink part on the which you put your mouth, could you upload it ?


what about 1.75mm-.5kg?

Mar 7, 2015 - Modified Mar 7, 2015

I'm not sure. It would definately not be able to make hobbyman's trumpet, and with this design I dont think it'll fare better. (in terms of filiament amount) In terms of time it would still last shorter.

I don't know how accurate this is but when I weigh it on a small scale I get about 400 grams. That could be a bit off though, the scale is kinda cheap and only goes to 500 grams.

do you know how many hours 1 roll of filament lasts

Depends on how fast you print. Your roll of filiament should have a weight measurement (usually 1kg) on it along with a filiament thickness (1.75mm or 3mm usually) nearby. If you do some research on your specific roll brand/type/product, usually there will be a way to figure out how long it is. When printing Hobbyman's trumpet, I had a 1kg white roll about 7/8 full, and when finished I had about 1/8 left, so I would think printing this trumpet will use 3/4 or 5/8 of a 1kg roll of 1.75mm thick filiament.

so on a 6x6x6 it would be alright?

I would think so. My printer can do anything up to around 9x6x6, and none of the parts (I'm using cutfiles for bell, leads, and belltube) are close to the edge of my 9 inch x axis.

what kind of printer do you use?
do you know anything on the printrbot simple metal? im getting it and i was wondering how hard it os to put the kit together

I use a FlashForge Creator Pro, and I don't know anything on the printrbot simple metal. My printer was almost completely ready-to-print directly from the box, so I didn't have to do much putting together.

Comments deleted.

are any of the pieces over 6 inches

Mar 4, 2015 - Modified Mar 4, 2015

According to LtDan's instructions, this can be printed at full scale if the printer has at least 5" in each axis (12.7cm). If you have only these minimum dimensions, use the files with "CUT" in the names. (These are the leads, bell, and belltube). The other parts are already small enough to print in the 5"x5"x5" dimensions described.

It depends on how large you make the model

It depends on how large you make the model

Comments deleted.
Mar 2, 2015 - Modified Mar 2, 2015

My printer doesn't handle overhang that well, most notibly square/rectangular overhang. In the valvechamber file with supports, I added additional support with my own software (makerbot desktop), but It didnt generate support for two square overhangs near the top of the part. (where the leadtovalves and belltovalves tubes connect) I cannot print the part unless I get support. Otherwise the whole print (from that point upward) would be ruined. Also, I cannot add the support to the file, so can a file with support for these overhangs be posted? That would save me lots of trouble making this.

I didn't use any support for those places as it only has to bridge about a centimeter which I think any printer should be able to do. It also isn't a crucial part of the piece and if the top of it sags a little bit it will still be okay. Furthermore, I am currently redesigning the entire thing making it (hopefully) play better and be easier to print. I don't know how much of this version you have already printed and I certainly don't want to discourage you from continuing but I should probably be done with the design by the end of the week. If you're interested I could send you the files while I work on printing the new one myself.

Mar 3, 2015 - Modified Mar 3, 2015
Printingdrew7531 - in reply to LtDan

Ok thanks. That's helpful to know, and I am in no way past the "point of no return", as I have only printed the lead1 parts, and the valvetubes 1 2 and 3. Even though the bridge is only 1cm, I'm not sure of how reliable my printer is in terms of bridging gaps. That's why I asked for the support there. Thanks for helping me out with this. :)

This is amazing!

Awesome dude how do you make to where you can play it?

Mar 1, 2015 - Modified Mar 1, 2015

When I connected the 3rd valve tube to the 2nd valve tube part (as it is supposed to be) and blew into it, I noticed air leaks around where the two parts are connected. Conventionally, this can be solved by fusing the parts, but I have found my own way. If you take a standard 2"x2" Post-It, and cut it in half so each half has a sticky area on the front, you can roll up halves into tubes that if made correctly, fix the air leaks. Also, this allows the tuning of the slide without air leaks, as valvetube2 can be slid back and forth while still not leaking air, like the slides on a real trumpet. However, there may be a downside: The post its will eventually build up moisture and fall apart, but the simplicity of the tubing design shouldn't make these too hard to replace.

Mar 1, 2015 - Modified Mar 1, 2015

When I listened to the video, it sounded like a couple of the valve tubes had air leaks when the valves were pressed down. I have a feeling that my tubing solution will definately help with that, and maybe even completely fix the sound if used where all of the valve tubes connect with the valve chamber and where valve tube 3 connects with the valve tube 2 needed to complete it.

Mar 1, 2015 - Modified Mar 1, 2015
hobbyman - in reply to Printingdrew7531

Hey Drew, you also printed this one? you are great. Thanks for supporting us the plastic trumpet designers.
What about printing my pocket cornet too? happy printing.

Mar 1, 2015 - Modified Mar 1, 2015
Printingdrew7531 - in reply to hobbyman

I've not so much finished as I am making this version, and I've been looking at the pocket cornet designs and after I'm done making this I'll try it.

how long did it take to make for you

I'm not sure about which trumpet you're talking about, so I'll tell both. Hobbyman's trumpet took about a month for me to print making 1-3 parts per day 2-4 days per week. As of 3/5/15 I have not yet finished LtDan's trumpet, but at my current pace should have it done around 3/20.

I assume that the file TMPT_Belltovalves is not one of the cut files. Is this correct?

is this a Bb or C trumpet

It's supposed to be a Bb but it's not remotely close to that.

I'm not totally sure, but from the looks of it I would think Bb.

One more thing: If your only way of supporting the bellcurves/slides involves support inside tubes, I have found that large pipe cleaners and very long tweezers work well at removing support, rather than prying it open to do the same.

I didn't make any support structures inside the tubes of any piece. That's why I made some of the holes in the valves ellipses and it wasn't that big of an issue for the most part especially for the two curved pieces. I'm gonna try to finish a new design of it this week but I may not have it built for another few weeks after that.

Feb 28, 2015 - Modified Feb 28, 2015

Congrats on having this featured! I'm going to maybe make one soon. I watched the video and I may try making mine at a slightly larger scale. (In the vid it sounds muffled) I'm just wondering: If I were to scale down the valves just a touch, could I save myself some sanding?

Yeah I'm gonna see if I can redesign it to solve some of those problems. The pipes are too small in places which is constricting the air. Scaling it up would help with that but it would probably cause problems in other places and also make some pieces too large to print. I would avoid doing any scaling. I'll try to make the tolerances in the valves a little larger. Either way it may still need some sanding.

OK. Thanks for the advice on scaling/sanding. When I am done with this (maybe by the 15th of March) I will most likely post a make.

how many pieces is this

That's a amazing job you did there.
Someone should try printing it in bronzefill and see if it sounds better after polishing (though you wouldn't be able to use acetone to "weld" the pieces).

Comments deleted.

do you know how to use google sketchup? if you do, van you tell me how to export something i made there to thingiverse

Mouthpiece is what size? Been many a year but I used to play using a 6C and a 3D if I remember correctly.

I modeled it after a bach 5c. I couldn't find dimensions for mouthpieces online so I just used a caliper and a metal 5c that I had. If I make another version of this I'll probably upload the mouthpiece along with it.

Good deal. I used 5c on occasion myself and I do find it odd there are no dimensions of mouth pieces though.

sounds like it just needs a bit of fine tuning on the tube lengths for correct note tuning. other than that its sound character is not that bad


try to print too hot, 10 or 20 degrees... This would give stronger layer bonding and less small cracks and holes that would let air escape where not desired. This comes at the cost of a slightly less 'sharp' print, but I guess the focus should be on functionality here anyway...

how long does this take to make and do you think it would be horrible if i used PLA plastic

It takes a long time but it depends on what layer height you use. For mine I used 0.1 mm on the more complex objects and 0.2 mm on the long tubes. Most pieces took 3 to 5 hours but the large center piece took like 17. I'm sure it would be fine at a lower resolution but I really like the quality my printer gets at 0.1 mm.

I don't see why PLA would be worse than ABS as long as you can get the valves as smooth as they need to be but just know that the one I made is "horrible" so don't expect any material to give you fantastic results.

I didn't expect it to get this much attention and I honestly I didn't plan to make any improvements to it but seeing as a few people want to make it I'll try to make a second version of it that's much more printable and plays better.

ok, thank you
do you think there is any way to maybe like get the time down because i dont have my own printer and i have to go to a library to print stuff and you only have two hour time periods

If and when I make the next version of this I'll cut most of the larger pieces in half and make them fit together nicely. So all of the pieces short of the valve chamber should be doable in 2 hours at .3 mm layer height maybe?. I don't know about the valve chamber piece. It's a pretty complex part and I'm not sure its a good idea to cut it anywhere although it might be possible. I'll look into it.

You probably want to hold off printing it until I can fix some stuff.

ok, thank you!
just send a reply to this comment when you think i should print it

wow i am actually impressed withhow it actually sounds lol! was expecting it to sound wayyyyyy worse lol :D! good job!

does Different materials make different sounds like printing in Bronze pla?

I have no idea! It would be cool to see someone try to make one out of bronze fill. I've chosen to stick with ABS because it gives me more room for error when it comes to post processing. The thing about making traditional brass instruments out of plastic is that you sacrifice some sound quality for extreme affordability. I wouldn't expect different plastics to make drastically different sounds. ESPECIALLY with this current design. This design actually has a lot of problems which is why the sound is terrible but that's because it's a first attempt. A bronze pla version of this would look dope though.

thats the beauty of a 3d printer. you can always improve and theres nothing wrong with trail and error but if you can Perfect it enough people can learn to play a instrument they 3D printed vs buying full on. just keep marching along till your happy with what you made

Do you think that this would be good enough for scout camp bugling?

I don't think so :/ I'll see if I can't get a version 2 going next week. There's a lot of things I want to fix. I didn't actually intend to upload this originally so there may be some issues if you tried to print one.

Maybe I missed it but what printer was used to print these parts?

Just heard it in the video, MendelMax 2.0

Stellar effort. B(flat) proud...

Any form of leak will cause off frequencies. I am not sure if you are wanting to keep it in a form that can be dis-assembled, but perhaps if you tape at all of the connections it may improve the sound more. I have been printing out ocarinas and found that once I had the joining faces perfectly smooth and glued together I was able to hit more of the notes and they were just about spot on using a tuner.

What is the internal surface quality like on your print?

The sound will be disrupted by uneven surfaces, so its important to depeak, avb and get as smooth as possible.

Try teardrop xSec in unsupported areas, to reduce sag and deviant strands.

Also, does the external surface need to be round in profile?

Great job, and you are right to share now.

I'd be curious to see if it sounds better printed in PLA. ABS seems like a more acoustically "dead" material.

To be honest I think most of the issue here is the design. It would be interesting to compare a PLA version but I would guess that there wouldn't be a drastic difference. I think making some of the pipes a little wider would help but it might be a while before I get that done. Eventually I might make an improved and more printer-friendly version.

Perhaps use a bugle as a simpler testbed to see which variables affect sound quality, and then make the trumpet work. Could you replace the valve section with a bypass tube to make a bugle?

Feb 25, 2015 - Modified Feb 25, 2015
LtDan - in reply to Gizmoticist

Is a good idea. I messed around with it while I was building it and actually got some nice sounds that way. I took this video after I made the first few parts so I know what it 'can' sound like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO1qlG5ZwlA

maybe I'm wrong, but if you use PLA you can't use acetona to close all the surface, and if you don't close the surface you can loose presure and the air flows throgh the gap between the slices.
i play the tuba and i want to print one mounthpiece, now i have one of this http://www.kellymouthpieces.com/ i don't know the material but it's a good mouthpiece, very confortable.

( i don't speak very well in ingles, so it's a little bit dificult to explain myself, i hope everything is clear and you can understand me)

That's correct, acetone won't do anything to PLA. If someone were to print this in PLA they would need to use some sort of glue to attach the pieces to the valve chamber. I used acetone to smooth the mouthpieces I make an I can get a pretty good sound out of them.

Awesome. I can't play the trumpet very well anyways so I'm sure I won't be able to tell the difference.

maybe it'll get better with age...

Its an epic effort to get this far.
The trumpet has taken many - many years to get to the state it is now.
All I can say is keep working on it - any design takes time and refinements.
and for a plastic trumpet, it's a decent sound.

Feb 7, 2015 - Modified Feb 7, 2015

Could you post the bell as a file with two pieces? That would help me and a lot of others who have printers with a small Z axis. I use makerware and cannot break up print files into parts. That would be really helpful.

I've split four of the longer pieces into two and I've uploaded the eight new pieces with each named "filename"_CUT. I believe now if your printer has 5 inches available in each axis all the parts should be printable. I did NOT do anything to make these new pieces fit together. I only cut them in half. I assume they can be glued together but I cant promise anything.

Comments deleted.

I will do that this weekend. It would mean I would probably need to do the same with the other 3 long tubes. You would need to fuse the two parts together somehow but I'm sure it's doable.

I really should make a couple minor design changes to make building it easier. I didn't realize there would be this much interest in it.

This is beautiful. I think you'll be able to work to get it to sound closer. It's an amazing feat.
The fact that the mouth pieces are interchangeable is amazing.
No more spending outrageous money on a new mouth piece, I'll just 3D print a new one!

This looks nice and in my opinion, doesn't sound so bad either. thanks for sharing.
I wonder if you've seen my printable trumpet? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:307088
I've also a pocket cornet design among my things.

Full Size Working Trumpet

Looks awesome! A lot of similarities between our designs. Have you been able to get some kind of sound out of one? I think I need to expand some of my tubes. It's currently feels constricted to play.

Where did you get the springs you used?

I bought them at a local hardware. They're pretty standard compression springs. I know the diameter is 8 mm but I can post more specific info in a couple days.

Please do. Thanks! :D

Feb 3, 2015 - Modified Feb 3, 2015

Really impressive. I can only imagine the number of hours you've put in to this project. Do you have an estimated plastic cost?

Thanks! It was kind of a long process.
I would guess I used about 10 dollars of plastic. I weighed it on a small scale and it was 350 grams. So for a normal 30 dollar/kg roll of abs, that's about 10 dollars.

Nice! I have wanted a trumpet for a while now. I am working on my own design for this and i find your work very inspirational. As you point out one of the difficult parts is the valvehouse and the valves. If we could just come up with a simpler and better design...
Did you need support when printing the tuning slide and the other curved pipe parts ?
Did the bell need support ?
Did you vapour finish the valves and valvehouse ?

I used MeshMixer to create a kind of raft for both of the curved tubes. I use Slic3r and the support generator isn't have controllable so I like Meshmixer. I'll try to upload my files that used support. I used a dremel with a stone bit to grind off the support later.
I didn't use support for the bell although I probably should have. I had to do some extra work to the inside of it that suffered from the lack of support.

As for the valves, I don't use vapor baths for any of my parts. I actually just take a brush and paint a coat of acetone directly onto my parts. Sometimes I'll even dunk an entire part in acetone for maybe 10 seconds. I did use a little bit of acetone on the valves but not much. I got a really nice polished finish just by sanding and working it in the valve house. The valves don't fit in in the valve house right out of the printer and each one took me hours to work in. I used a lot of sanding and I bought a cheap hone to smooth the inside of the valve house.

I look forward to seeing what you can do. It was fun process all around.

wow It's amazing hardly expext it to be made with meshmixer it's a good program have you tried sculptris it's works similar

Sorry if that was confusing I actually modeled everything in SolidWorks. I only used MeshMixer to create the raft and support structures for some pieces.