The Chirping Bird Whistle

by AdamStag, published

The Chirping Bird Whistle by AdamStag Nov 25, 2015

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Get ready for some chirping! This simple bird whistle was designed for the #MakeItLoud challenge. It produces a consistent high pitched sound when dry, but with some assistance (water) you can make unique chirping melodies. When you get tired of whistling it also doubles as a nice desktop ornament and conversation starter. I included a "how it works" section so you can impress your friends.

I have printed the original and holiday versions in full and miniature (75% scale) sizes. They print nice and clean in PLA or ABS and produce the same chirping melody with no post processing.

Want one, but don't have a printer? No problem, I'll print it for you!
Get it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/258092545/the-chirping-bird-whistle?ref=shop_home_active_1

v14.STL for the Original Chirping Bird Whistle
v10.STL for the Chirping Bird Educational Edition (for translucent materials)
v15.STL for the Chirping Bird Holiday Edition Single Helix (warning difficult to print)
v18.STL for the Chirping Bird Holiday Edition Double Helix

Print Settings

Printer Brand:






Doesn't Matter




%10 (100% for Single Helix Holiday Edition)


Print it with the base down as shown in the images and it will come out nice and clean without raft or supports. Check out the summary table included in the images above.


Either use it dry for a high pitched sound or fill it with water for a chirping melody. The Holiday Edition has minimal “stringing” at the top of the sphere due to the extreme overhang. It is not very visible, but can be cut away if it is hanging high up where people could see it or if you just want a flawless print. Also if you want to hang the Holiday Edition, you should either use a hook (print one) or loop of string.

Although you can make a high pitched sound without water, if you fill it with water you can get brilliant chirping!

Some random chirping

Short bursts sound a little more bird like

How I Designed This

For this challenge I wanted to make a whistle that produced an interesting and constant sound and printed well for anyone willing to download the STL. I printed many iterations of this model so that it would make an eye catching display piece that would demonstrate the benefits of 3D printing over other manufacturing methods. I hope to see it on peoples desks and in their homes, but I really wanted to focus on how it can be used educationally for people to show others how 3D printing works. The tail demonstrates the limits on overhang while the inner cavity and especially the spiraled arches in the holiday edition are great examples of how additive manufacturing can be used to create complex geometry.

Here are the notes I used to keep track of the various iterations:

Final Printable Versions
v14 original with rounded whistle tube and modified tube profile - also prints in 75% scale
v10 fill line edition with rounded whistle tube and modified tube profile - beta unprinted (transparent filament)
v15 christmas edition ornament (the original v14 inside a 6 branches cage) - also prints in 75% scale

Trials and unprintable
v3 original submission
v4 original with fill line submission
v5 holiday edition bird sitting on basic loop
v6 holiday edition bird in a cage ornament (4 spokes more overhang) [DOES NOT PRINT]
v7 holiday edition bird in a cage ornament (5 spokes some overhang)
v8 holiday edition ornament rounded whistle tube for more consistent printing (6 branches)
v9 original with rounded whistle tube for more consistent printing
v10 fill line with rounded whistle tube for more consistent printing
v11 holiday edition bird in a cage ornament (6 branches least overhang)
v12 v8 with adjusted slit 1 for whistle tube to create higher pitch
v13 v9 with adjusted slit 1 for whistle tube to create higher pitch
v14 v9 with adjusted slit 2 again
v15 v8 with adjusted slit 2 again (6 branches)
v16 v7 with adjusted slit 2 again (5 branches)
v17 double helix cage for robust printing (12 branches)
v18 double helix cage for robust printing (8 branches)

Here are the very first versions ranging from v1 and three later iterations. I also printed four versions of the whistle tube until I get an appropriate high pitched sound for the chirp.

There were a ton of iterations before I was able to perfect the models. Here is a shot of all the failed attempts before I designed the clean printing models that you can download above.

Special Editions

Educational Edition

After an insightful suggestion from another Thingiverse member I was inspired to create an educational edition that allows the whistle to be used for education and outreach. It includes an internal “Fill Above” line and must be printed in translucent material in order to show the inner workings of the whistle. Please note this version is “Beta” because I did not have access to translucent print filament at the time of this submission. See the “How it works” section below.

Hopefully this translucent version can be used to show kids how the whistle works!

Holiday Edition

In light of the holiday season, I present the Chirping Bird Holiday Edition! Hang it off the tree until you are ready to wake up the kids (or parents). Miniature versions can be made by scaling the model down before 3D printing. I have also tested miniature versions at 75% of the original size (start with the model I provided and scale with your printers software). Of the two versions available, the double helix prints much more consistently and only requires good adhesion to the print platform. The single helix version if prone to failures due to the cantilevered helix branches, but I have found precise platform alignment and good adhesion increase the chance for a good print. Unless you want to challenge your printer, I suggest sticking with the double helix version because it’ll print well, uses less material and takes less time to print. The miniature versions are also a great alternative since they still produce about the same chirping melody.

Two versions available: Single Helix (left), Double Helix (right)

How it works

Sound Test

With or without water you can achieve chirps between 103-104db. If you just want to make a lot of noise you can use this whistle without water to produce a steady high pitched squeal. I found there is a "sweet spot" for how hard you blow into the whistle so if you blow too hard you actually get less intensity.

Tests show 103db chirping and 104db dry whistle

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This is fantastic and print beautifully, thanks. More printing, everyone wants one :)

I liked this Bird whistle, because its so much like the clay souvenirs I got in Portugal and Peru. Unfortunately, 2 attempts at printing resulted in very jagged unsupported faces ( See photo). The first was printed at 203 Deg C with 0.25 layers and the second at 199 Deg C. Not sure if I should increase or decrease the layer height for the next attempt.

I got the same problem! Printed at 200°C with 0.2 layer height, 20% Infill and 48mm/s speed. Exactly the same result!! Don't know what to do.

Hello dolon12/CrimsonGhost69,

Did either of you ever get it working? I actually had a similar problem when I was figuring out the tail angle - I originally designed the tail at an angle closer to horizontal. I played with it until I found this stringing effect was no longer present, but it seems with your printer/filament combinations it still occurs.

I have printed a ton of these at this point, but only on Makerbot Replicators and Lulzbots on standard settings with PLA, ABS, and NGen. These printers have never had an issue even at different scaling factors, but I would be interested to see if you were able to fix it by adjusting the settings on your machines. Let me know! I hope you get one of these birds printed, they are a lot of fun to play :)

Great job! my grandson and i love this whistle. it sounds beautiful and if you tip it forward and back while blowing it changes the pitch of the bird call. fill it about 3/4 up with water and blow it is so kool! thanks for sharing. i used v14 stl. no touch up needed at all!

Great, I am happy you like it! If you print it scaled up or down you will get lower or higher pitches too. Enjoy :)

I can't believe how much this sounds like a real bird.

Thanks do whistle,and he sjirping :)

Did you add water? There is a good amount of description as well as a video of how to do it if you scroll through this thingiverse page, but if you can't get it let me know!

I Have bird printed,but ,it is not good,i have simplify3d en v14 printed,en stopped by pipe printing loose filament.
must i use support??
I use PrimaCreator P120 Printer en PLA filament

Hello vanschagen,

No support is needed as long as the bird is printed standing up. Take a look at the photos of Chirp printed on the Makerbot - go here for a time-lapse: https://www.chirpingbirdwhistle.com/faq

Take a look at the post below from arpruss, it looks like you might be printing the same way by mistake. Let me know if you get it!


Fantastic model. Thanks for sharing.

Absolutely wonderful! I am going to try an print this on my lab printer.. haha
Cheers mate.

I am new to 3D printing and am having trouble printing this without adding support material. When I printed v14.stl at full size, the tail ended up being a mess of loose filament before I stopped the print. What am I missing: how can the printer print an inch of overhanging tail?

I then printed at 75% and used Slic3r to add support material for half of the tail (the half closer to the body). That worked better, but the outer half still had a lot of loose filament on the underside.

I'm using PLA in a DaVinci 1.0a with Repetier, with an external fan.

Thank you for trying to print my Chirping Bird whistle. Did you print the bird standing up? Take a look at the later images in this post and make sure that the model in your pre-printing software is oriented in the same way. Go to this webpage to see a short video showing how the print looks on a Makerbot: www.chirpingbirdwhistle.com/faq

Sorry! I didn't read carefully enough, or else I didn't understand what you meant by "base". I printed it on its side, because that's how Repetier-Host placed it when I loaded the stl file. If I have to print it again, I may rotate it to do it correctly (or just use more support for the tail). By the way, somewhat surprisingly, the bridging for the upper side worked just fine when I printed it on the side, at least at 75%.

Okay great, then it is a simple fix! Sorry for the confusion.
At full scale printing on its side will likely cause stringing on the inside and might effect the Chirp. The small one takes approximately 30 minutes to print depending on the printer and settings. Make sure to post an image if you have time :)

Have fun Chirping!

Thank you! I am happy you like my design!

Great job, thank you!

I am happy you like it! You can also try different scaling to change the pitch.

I just got my 3d printer a few days ago. I'm still dialing it in but this whistle printed almost perfect. My kids thought it was very cool, great job!

Thank you, I am really happy you enjoy the whistle!

Very clever! Congrats!

Fantastic ! love the sound it makes . im sure you mind is working over drive on how , different shapes on can make unique sounds .

I am happy you like it! I already have some interesting ideas in mind, including how scale will effect the sound. In December I am planning on posting a slightly modified version for the holiday season. If you are interested you can check it out!

Cool. Maybe add a water level mark, and text, on the outside so recipients of the whistles will know what to do.

Great idea! I was thinking it would be really fun to print it in a semi-transparent filament, but didn't think to add a suggested fill line. Since this will work for any level above the bend in the tail, what I will do is add a "Fill Above" line. To take advantage of 3D printing capabilities I will add this detail on the INSIDE. This way the finish will still be smooth for solid color prints, but will visible when printing in semi-transparent material.

I'll post this version up later today. Maybe someone with access to semi-transparent filament can print it up to see if it works!