Folk whistle in sopranino, soprano, alto and tenor sizes

by pfh, published

Folk whistle in sopranino, soprano, alto and tenor sizes by pfh Dec 31, 2013
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This is a folk-whistle or penny-whistle, and won't even cost a penny to download.

Versions included are sopranino in G, soprano in D, alto in G, and tenor in D (all versions are one octave higher than the corresponding singing voice).

The instruments are given as pieces. In ABS plastic they can be welded together using acetone. I have found this method to very reliably produce a functional and well sounding whistle.


You have a choice of four sizes of instrument: sopranino in G, soprano in D, alto in G, or tenor in D (not pictured). These have ranges one octave above the corresponding singing voice.

Each zip-file contains the instrument segmented into 3, 4, or 5 pieces. Choose a segmentation with pieces small enough for your printer to print, and that it can print without the pieces falling over while being printed.

When printing, the wall thickness and/or fill percentage should be quite high. A stiff wall is necessary for the instrument to sound loudly and without needing excessive air flow. If you can feel the wall vibrating as you play, that is energy being lost.

Having printed the pieces, they need to be connected together. In ABS plastic this is easily achieved by dipping the ends of pieces you wish to join in acetone for 15 or so seconds, then holding them firmly together. The model includes guide prongs that will ensure the correct orientation of the pieces. Use appropriate safety equipment when using acetone (gloves, goggles, good ventilation, etc)!

I am not sure if a similar solvent is available for PLA plastic. If not I would suggest trying cyanoacrylate glue in gel form, or epoxy. The join must have absolutely no leaks.

See the file folk-flute-and-whistle-fingering.pdf for fingering system.

These instruments were designed using Demakein, version 0.14. You could use Demakein to create whistles in different keys. Demakein can also be used to design a variety of other woodwind instruments.

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I'm going to learn how to play the Krusty Krab theme song

Hello, thank you very much for sharing the whole set of models!

Would it also be possible to upload socketed versions for being able to tune the whistles?

the flute printed ok, but almost no sound coming out when blowing on it. please help

I printed the 3 piece alto in PLA and it sounds great! the only issue I have is that I can just barely play the top 4 notes D6-G6, and when I do they are extremely loud and piercing. Not sure if I need to file down the blade or or finger holes, any advice?

Recorder-like instruments always get louder the higher you go. I don't have enough experience yet to know if there's a way to moderate this with a better design.

I don't know what effect filing down the blade or finger holes would have. Enlarging any of the holes too much will alter the tuning. Smoother surfaces may make the instrument somewhat louder and easier to play.

It's awesome to hear about people downloading my designs and making working instruments. Thanks :-)

is too high for my prusa!!! ( 24cm vs 20cm) cai i scale down? (

Sure, but it will be higher pitched!

I've printed several sopraninos and one soprano. The sopraninos are awesome. The soprano is very good, too, but I have an odd issue: At all-closed position, it very easily jumps to the second octave/register. Is this due to an imperfection in the split hole / blade, and is there anything I could try to correct it? Polish, sand, add material?

I'm not missing any notes, it's just that I have to blow very gently to get the lower octave, so gently as to make dynamics nearly impossible when playing the lower couple of notes in the lowest octave.

Unfortunately, that's just how flutes and whistles work. The lower the note, the lower the pressure you need to jump the octave. This is actually how flute players reach higher octaves. I don't know if there is anything you can do to make it happen less besides not blowing as hard.

Same problem here

I've tried the three-part soprano D whistle in ColorFabb PLA, and so far the results are mixed. Right off the printer I could only get G through c, with some cleanup on the blade I was able to extend that up to e, and with more work I can get a very faint E and F but still can't reach D or any of the highest notes. The ColorFabb plastic is one of the softer blends that we have, though, so I'm wondering whether a harder plastic will be better; that will be the next test.

If you can't get the lower notes, there may be a hole in the join above the finger holes for these notes. Even a tiny hole seems to stop things from working.

I started doing this with PLA and sopranino is ready.
0.3mm layer height, 4 perimeters and 100% infill.

Even I could have print sopranino in one piece I made it with 3 to practice the joining:

-Guide prongs and prong spaces are some tight that I need to cut more open - this is my printer settings having some swelling in first 5 layers.

I checked the flush mounting of parts. I smeared thin layer of 5 min epoxy both sides to ensure air tightness.
While pressing the parts together I put soldering iron tip some over 240°C on the prongs to have a small spot welds to hold.
After some seconds cooling I left epoxy to harden.

I couldn´t believe it worked. Now I´ll do the whole series.
There is a quite good soft sound without tweaking holes or whistle part sharpness.
I have also a much harder quality PLA that might be worth trying here.

Good design -thank you!

Thanks, it's really useful for me to know these instruments work with PLA.

Sopranino and soprano are fine - sopranino some hard to play with my big finger tips.

Just wondering... should a Tenor 4pcs whistle be about 580mm long when assembled?
And Base sound is D two octaves below middle C (Baritone?? instead of one octave like tenors usually are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenor)?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...
If not there might be a naming/file issue in zip or something else that I don´t understand.

  • I used naturalwhite PLA 0.3mm layers, 4 perimeters and100% infill on Tenor and I have now a serious self defense equipment weight over 300g AND it sounds good! Its quite sensitive to blow lowest sounds out.

There is some solvents for PLA that might work here as solvent joining (as acetone to ABS):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrofuranhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... (widely used - stablizer needed, ventilation)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioxanehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... (even less toxic and substitute for THF)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichloromethanehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... (solvent in many inks, model building "Di-clo" )

Have not got those in my hands and tested on PLA as such. If some glue have these as these they should work even better than epoxy I used with these whistles.

I named the different models by analogy to recorder sizes, which sound one octave above the corresponding human voice. 580mm for tenor sounds correct, it should have a similar pitch range and be about the same size as a tenor recorder, or a soprano saxophone or a western concert flute.