Quick Printing Thin Plastic Whistle

by MakerBlock, published

Quick Printing Thin Plastic Whistle by MakerBlock Nov 24, 2015
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My blog post about the development of this whistle.

I wanted to make a quick-printing whistle that used as little plastic as possible. I'm pretty happy with this version, redesigned from the great emergency whistles by DarkAlchemist and muddtt.

I removed the loop at the end, but created a hole in the whistle for putting a cord through - doubly removing plastic.

Print at 0.1mm / layer for best results. Thicker layers than this and you'll probably end up with gaps in the plastic that will prevent it from working. It uses about 0.4 grams of plastic - a great and utilitarian way to run out a nearly empty coil of plastic.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



MakerBot Replicator 1


Doesn't Matter


Doesn't Matter


0.1mm / layer



How I Designed This

Redesigned from the ground up in OpenSCAD to use as little plastic as possible.

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Nov 24, 2015 - Modified Nov 24, 2015

I use 1mm walls because I have found that so many people complained when I didn't and their prints would fail during the print or after when it would fall apart due to being too thin. I guess their settings are off or they have lousy printers but in any case I always use at least 1mm walls now. I used to use 0.5mm knowing a the nozzle would be 0.5 at least. While mine printed fine I had to learn to go the 1mm wall route. I have one up I had to use 0.75mm wall and sure enough in came a complaint but he never would test the revision I made with thicker walls so it sits on my hard drive.

Good going and I hate scad as I am more of a visual person with these things.

Ah! Please don't take my choice to narrow the walls as any criticism!

I generally try to design for maximum replicability. However, in this instance I was attempting to push the limits of the design to the edge of my machine's abilities. I tend to find that 0.2mm layers is a really excellent resolution for printing pretty much anything. I rarely print down to 0.1 because it requires just a little extra TLC at the beginning to slightly readjust my print bed to ensure first layer adhesion without getting too close to the print bed.

I'm running a Replicator 1 with dual 0.4 nozzles - and even then my attempt to print the 0.4 wall thickness version failed the first time because I was trying to print at 0.2mm layers. It was only when I printed it again at 0.1mm layers that I had any success.

Frankly, the design tradeoff in this version is somewhat extreme. While the plastic is minimized, the time to print went way up. Although this version requires about 1/3 of the plastic that's in your 1mm walled version (all the details in the blog post), it takes about the same amount of time to print just one whistle - since the 'bot has to make twice as many passes due to the doubled "vertical resolution." I haven't done a ton of prints of this whistle at the necessary resolution, but so far it is averaging 7 minutes a whistle while your took less than 5 minutes when I printed in bulk (10 whistles at a time).

I suspect that a version with 0.6mm walls might be an excellent trade off in time versus weight/plastic - and that I could print them faster at a lower resolution. I'd love to be able to print stacks of whistles at well under 4 minutes a piece.

Oh, no I wasn't I just thought I would explain and get you ready for the complaints you may get as I did, lol. I did read your blog on this so I understood the intention. :)