Long Practice Chanter (fully printable) for Highland Bagpipe

by Kakadu Nov 9, 2015
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What is the Length of the tallest part?

I just printed out this practice chanter on my CR-10. I set it to the best print setting and almost solid fill. Took two days but it came our really nice and plays pretty well. I used a Gibson reed and used waxed hemp to connect the mouth piece to the chanter. The sound is good. This maybe an inexpensive way to make chanters for some of our beginners in our pipe band. Thank you for the design.

Good Morning to all Pipers out there ;)

I always wanted to learn playing the pipes (especially the Highland Bagpipes).
I found an online course and this 3D printable practice chanter...yey two hobbies in one.
The Chanter itself was easy and printed in no time with my Tevo, but the reed was impossible to make...
So i bought this one:


It fit and it makes sound...if i blow like a madman. That is really hard and the sound is terrible.
I was thinking about buying a real practice chanter at Thomanns but now i'm scared that it is equally hard to play.
Any advice?

You are right, it is really hard to play, the bagpipes are exausting AF :-)
As I wrote in the description ( I think) you need a really well calibrated Printer. I played the Chanter as it came out of my Printer I dont say it works with yours (Lot of people in the comments are complaining).

By the way... The printed reed was only for the make it loud Challenge and I had to make a LOT of iterations until I got the reed to works as in the video. Maby I need to write it in the describtion, but I can only say I DONT RECOMMEND TO PRINT THE REED IF YOU NEED one.
Just the Ninjaflex alone costs much more than a Proper Reed :-P

If your Chanter is hard to play try this:

Press the little Plastic Lips from your reed a little together this makes it easier to play, as it doesnt need that much air. The Chanter is also quieter this way

Wow what a difference! Now my lungs don't feel like an overblown partybaloon :D
But it still sounds like a kazoo had babys with one of those party blowers ^.^
I thought it was my incompetence at first but as it loooks it seems to be the instrument....at least it makes sounds unlike most of the prints here...

I'm thinking about getting a real PC i found some that are pretty affordable. Could be somthing for the beginning

This is really cool. I have NO experience (though loads of interest) in playing, so a filament and time investment into a chanter is a low impact proposition.
However, your reed looks solid. Do they need to be SOLID? Mine (first/only attempt so far) definitely didn't print solid - not a good first layer. Maybe I should squish it or increase the %...
Also, do you think printing the reed's soft parts in nylon would work well enough. Ninjaflex is one filament I've not gotten yet.

Some parts I did not manage to print: the reeds related parts. I tried with so many profiles and none worked.

Do you think that woodfilled PLA would be a good choice for this print.

Is there any way you could make drones to make a full set of pipes?

I will do it in the future :)

how long do you think it will be till then? Thanks a bunch!

All I want to know is who's recording did you use for the background music for the video! it's gorgeous!

I'll probably print the body in black PLA, and the mouthpiece in transparent atrovirens, in my Cr-10 S5 when I get around to it.

Hi Kakadu,

Many thanks for this work, but could you please provide us with separated .stl files for the splitted version ? (in a zip archive if you want...) Checking with Google, it seems that I am not alone to have difficulties to split .stl files containing several objects... (I only use Sketchup together with Cura and the splitting operation is not obvious with these softwares).

Thanks again !

You can split them to single pieces in Slic3r.

In the meantime I found another mesh tool to split the parts, but I too the time to have a look on Slic3r, and it seems to be very interesting. Thanks for the tip ;-)

Would it be possible to get the CAD files for this? I'm interested in trying to make a machined version and STEP or solidworks files would make that much easier.

When i try to put the orange parts into simplify 3d the reed seal and reed reed sleeve will not preview print. i made sure they are both on the bed, but no luck. Any advice?

pas mal du tout, moi qui voulais apprendre a jouer de ce type d'instrument c'est idéal. par contre vous dite " Ninjaflex " un autre flexible peut être bon ou pas ? et quel type de dureté de flexibilité utilisé car tous les flex ne sont pas de la meme flexibilité ?

en attente de la réponse

Superb design work on this chanter! I printed it at 30% on my stock maker select v2, sanded it and glued the pieces together, threw a Gibson reed in and it sounds pretty good!!!

the sound is horrible. Better wood, but thank you

rien n'empêche de le faire en filament bois ;)

I'm trying to cram the split version onto my Monoprice Mini and if the parts were nested a bit tighter, it would easily fit. Any reason they are spaced out the way they are?

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I think it should be noted that this is in no way print and play, this thing is a pain. 100% infill and all reeds cannot produce an in tune note whatsoever. I'm throwing in the towel. Save your PLA for something else folks

It is playable. I did have to tweak a few things for my print (which may have been due to the variation in printers, filament, pc reed used, etc). It worked out pretty well once I did a few mods post-printing. I will try to post pictures of my make when I get a chance.

Can you tell me what mods you had to make? What reed etc when you have time

Well you need a good calibrated 3D Printer, just because it didnt work on yours means it doesnt work for others. It's not an easy print but it is printable and playable. There is a reason why i wrote 30% infill :) More important than the infill is are the number of outer lines, I set them to 3-4 to make it airtight.

That could be the problem

and you need to print veeeeery slow

Just printed at 100% infill going to sand and try putting it all together

What practice chanter is this model based off of? It kind of looks like a Hardie, but I can't quite tell.

I took the main measurements from my David Naill Chanter and the rest is my own interpretation of a nice Chanter.

Okay. I couldn't quite tell. It came out pretty well for me when I printed it. I may move the top hole up a smidge as it is a little sharp after my print (probably due to variation in printers or whatnot). Otherwise, I was surprised at how well it plays! Thanks for putting the work into making the model!

30% infil is way too low for this build, one drop I would doubt it would survive

I am in the process of printing this now, but I am doing 100% infill. It's looking good so far...hopefully it doesn't take a week to print...

I was able to get mine all put together, no sound would come out with a practice chanter reed? Any idea how much of a spool it would use to print at 100-% infill

I'm not quite done printing. I probably have about 30-35% more to go until I have all the parts. They fit together very tightly, and I did have to use a file/sandpaper to get them together properly. So far I would estimate that I have used maybe 15-20% of a 1kg spool (very rough estimate). It actually looks like it used a fair bit less than I thought it would. It's no polypenco, but it seems pretty strong at 100% infill. Even for printing in PLA...

Can you please!! Tell me how it turns out and post pictures and or video of it working I would love to print this at 100% infill

Just to follow up with the above comments...I have finished printing this (splitted_version.stl). I ended up breaking the file into several files to print each piece individually. That was primarily personal preference. I printed in lime green PLA (why you ask? because I could.) with 0.06mm layer height and 100% infill. This gave me a really smooth finish and it seems very sturdy despite taking several days for the print. I just let it run overnight for most of the pieces. I probably used about a quarter of a 1kg spool of PLA. I did not try printing the reed yet, but kudos to Kakadu for making the split chanter file!

The fittings did require some sanding to fit properly (perhaps this is unique to the splitted version?), and I had to enlarge the diameter of the hole in the mouthpiece in order to get enough blowing pressure through to activate my Abbott pc reed (might not be necessary with printed reed by Kakadu or weaker pc reeds that need less blowing pressure). I also removed the sole from my print to save filament as it is mostly cosmetic anyway. It played quite well...much better than I was anticipating. The designer did a good job with individual hole diameters and the distancing. I might move the top hole up a tiny bit as it is a little sharp on high notes. Otherwise it's pretty darn playable...especially for someone looking to learn without spending $60-100 on a chanter.

@FireRescueBRFD: Let me know if any of the above was helpful or if you want a hand troubleshooting your print!

Just printed for 21hrs the connections don't fit together anywhere? The diameter is too small on reviving end or vice versa unless I spend 30mins sanding each connection ?? Any ideas

Printing now, I play the pipes. I'll post the finished product and maybe a video tomorrow. Printing in carbon fiber PLA

I'm a piper and I'd love to try one of these out. Aside from the cost of the printer, does it work out cheaper than a bought PC?

If you get the PLA on sale, yes for sure. For example I got 3 entire spools for 59.00? Net cost for each chanter would be around 5.00 American. That doesn't of course account for the 27hours the chanter takes plus finishing on high quality. All in all it's still cheaper. A solid long chanter runs around 60-90.00. In going to try printing this from wood PLA that would be pretty cool

I'm trying to print with my Maker Select V2 but print messes up everytime it gets halfway done. Anyone else have this problem? Is it possible to split the model into individual pieces instead of a group? Maybe even larger pieces so there are less breaks. Can't wait to try this out!

Congrats! Awesome project!

Hey all,
Does anyone have a link to where I buy a set of O-rings? My printer isn't capable of printing Ninja Flex.

I can't read the reed seal & reed sleeve. Can you please upload them again? when I try to print them, Cura does not work.Thank you

Same here. What is the wall thickness?

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To get the Reed working make sure you print the lips with PLA. When you watch the video you can see I give the lips a slight press to make a cap on the top. This is very important, the thickness of the lips makes the reed harder or softer to blow.

-> Thicker Lips: Hard reed
-> More cap: Harder to blow
-> No cap between lips: Reed wont work

Reed_Sleeve.stl is printable with 0.25mm nozzle or less according to Cura. Unfortunately I don't have one to the moment. I should re-model it for my nozzle 0.4mm. This shouldn't influence reed work much.

I think about oboe reed design that is also made of two pieces of thin cane, and looks like the design of your Chanter reed may be a good starting point. I'm going to print this Chanter reed alone to check how it sounds itself to make sure this design is playable. It looks promising.
The thing I would change is to cut reed bars from some thin plastic box of 0.2-0.3mm thickness - I consider some box pack after milk products/ice scream. This should provide bars of higher quality, but would require good markup and cut technique.

Comments deleted.

cant print the whole reed unless i have a 0.2 nozzle, what should i do?

Why? I printed it with a 0.4 Nozzle

Thanks for the Split version, i am looking forward to printing this.

i play the pipes and printed it it sounds pretty good !

Great! It would be nice if you upload a "Make" I am very interested how other people print my stuff!

Cheers and good piping :)

Very nice work!

Is it possible to upload an assemblied version for those of us who have a big printer.

I think the sound is better if you print it as one piece.

Thank you!

I dont really understand what you mean... You cant print it in one piece, otherwise you can not put the reed in the air chamber...But I will upload a splitted version, for those who have not such a big printer as me.

Hi Kakadu,

ok now i understand.

I will start to print it now. Do I have to buy a special reed? Is there a reed, that is good to start for beginners (i am a trumpet player)?

If you have Ninjaflex laying around, why not trying to print my own Reed? Yeah there are a few good reeds out there... my personal favorite Reeds are the Walsh Reeds: http://www.johnwalshbagpipes.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=41&category_id=265

You sir deserve to win the make it loud contest for your awesome work!

Thank you very much, what an honor! I hope I will win the challenge but I wish the best for everyone who has entered the challenge, you all did really well!


Can you tell me which printer you used to make this? I am a piper and I am interested to try to make this . The chanter length may be an issue for me. if i choose the wrong printer!


Hi Piob,

I used a custom made delta printer for this. The chanter bottom part is 356 mm high and the top is 206 mm high. You can tell me your max printer hight, I will upload a splitted version like my first chanter.

I too am a piper interested in creating this... I am very new to the 3d Printing world. Have a Flash Forge 3d Pro, would love to make one but I am sure the first piece is too long for my machine. my Max build height is 5.7"..

Thanks we use a Prusa i3 at work. there may be a larger machine available soon.

Nicely done. I love the sound of pipes droning away while the tune is carried in the drone somewhere. I may not be Scottish, but it is an amazing sound.
Are the bits and pieces for the small chanter also available somewhere ?

Thank you! Yes they are somewhere in my designes. You can also search for practice Chanter :)

Dude. You had me scared. I thought you were going to have a whole video about bagpipes without bagpipe music.
I've always wanted to learn piping. Guess I'm out of excuses now. :)