Makefast Workshop recently unveiled TuneFast Harp, a 3D printed Single-string instrument that will simplify life of a great numbers of music composers.

Indeed, tuning musical instruments can raise a few obstacles especially on instruments (pianos, harps) which have dozens of strings.


All images via Makerfast webshop

The manufacturing and constraints

They chose a diatonic scale (white keys on a piano) since it is regularly used with harps. Furthermore, it makes the instrument easy to play a wide range of simple tunes.

The challenge in this manufacturing is to ensure that the string remains under constant tension. So, makers adjusted the relative position of each endpoint to select the notes present. The idea is that by allowing for 8 notes, one could obtain a full octave on the one hand, on the other hand, facilitate the 3D printing.

The instrument will be as rigid as possible and the harp should be bent (as little as possible).

The next step required a single tuning mechanism and a string.  Makers also needed something to act as low-friction endpoints for the string as it weaves back and forth.

Parts list

As far as 3D printing is concerned, they made use of a TAZ6 printing PLA with very good speed settings and it took them about 3 hours to achieve the 3D printing.  

The makers’ advice: “the harp works well printed with fairly large layer heights (i.e. coarse/fast settings), but make sure to use at least 30% infill (to increase strength) and print with stiff plastic (PLA works well; ABS is strong, but it’s significantly less stiff than PLA, and rigidity is what we’re looking for here).

Thereafter, the parts just needed to be assembled and the instrument to be tuned up.

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