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3D printing mouthpiece experiments

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Regular Member

Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is old, but I wonder if you're still printing mouthpieces!

I started 3D printing a little while ago, and I want to get going with mouthpieces. How did you measure backbores, for example? I mean, the inside shape must be nearly impossible to measure? I've been at the Kanstul comparator, but the only draw rough shapes, and don't have the Bach backbores.

Same for the cups, actually... I can measure inside rims, outside rims, maybe the throat, but how did you do the throat length, all the angles of the cup shape?
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Joined: 27 Jun 2015
Posts: 357
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have continued off and on to do prints. It has been a couple months now but I plan on starting up a new project soon.

for backbores, I measured several backbores and then made variations on those. I did a Schilke, a Monette, and some older mouthpieces. The way I measure backbores is to get a drill set with as many bits as you can find, and use those as your diameters .. put it in the backbore and measure with calipers how far it went in, then plot it all in excel. You need to measure - print - correct - measure - print - correct until when you insert the bit into the original and then into the printed copy it goes in the exact same amount.

To measure the bowl it is similar for the bowl by the throat (use bits), and for the upper part I use calipers where I say set the calipers to 9.8mm and then measure how far in they went (takes some practice - I have a scale attached to the caliper blades). Again by comparing printed to original measuring back and forth you can eventually get a good copy. You can also use bore gauge to do this. It could take 10-20 prints on your first one as there is lots to learn about shrinkage, measuring, supporting the prints, etc.

The throat length is easy, you are measuring in from both sides and the two measurements will eventually only be a teeny bit apart - that is the straight part of the throat.

The part I find hardest to measure is the rims, a very small distance will make a big difference in how they feel to your lips. It took a lot of practice to do that, I mainly have to do it by hand -- I can tell with my finger or eye where one rim is slightly different than the other and I make a small change in the print accordingly.. print and see how it feels, make another adjustment, etc.

Now I would say in 3-4 hours (plus print time) I can copy any mouthpiece as good as anyone can. So it is definitely a viable method. I had a Monette B6S1 which I stopped using and sold but I have a copy I made and if I ever want to remember how it plays I can just pop in my copy .. very similar.
Adams A1 Bb circa 2016 / custom Monette-style mpc.
Yamaha YTR-915 picc circa 1973 / Blackburn pipes / GR 63P-M with #41 XE adapter
CarolBrass CFL-6200-GSS flugel circa 2016 / CarolBrass 3CFL
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