Tim Trzepacz of SoftEgg, creators of the Nintendo DSi music app Rhythm Core Alpha, has shared a set of design files for a 3D-printable modular synthesizer controller keyboard.
The 3D design files are Creative Commons licensed (Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike), so you’re free to download, use them and mod them as you see fit.
Here’s what they have to say about the Modular Synthesizer Control Keyboard design:
Modular design allows you to print as many sections as you need. Need another octave of keys? Print all you want? Want 5 modulation wheels? You can do it!
This design has many useful features for the DIY synthesizer designer!
The front panel has a grid embossed on the back for easy drilling of holes for knobs and sliders; never worry about the drill sliding away from you again!
The bottom includes mounting holes for screwing down circuit boards. The edges have grooves in them so that the parts will not jump out of alignment. The whole design is designed to be fastened together at the ends with threaded rods through all of the parts.
The parts are currently designed at a very small scale so that you can scale it up to any size that you need.
The file “keyboard6.stl” is an exploded view with all of the parts, and is only for an overview of the design, not for printing.
This looks like a huge project, so we’d be interested in anyone’s experiments and experience with this.
3D printable music gear is one of the trends we cited in 2010 in our 10 Predictions For Electronic Music Making In The Next Decade:
You’ll design your own instruments – in the last few years, synth “hot rodding” has grown in popularity. You can get Roland TB-303’s with mods, keyboards with customized paint jobs and custom LEDs and end panels in the exotic woods of your choice. This is going to go mainstream in the next decade, with gear manufacturers offering you the option to order your gear completely customized.
Advances in manufacturing technology are going to push this further, though. In a decade, you’ll design your own instruments, you’ll test them out virtually and they will be “printed” to your specifications.
We’re still a long way off from this prediction, but projects like these are moving this closer to reality.