Introduction: 3D Printed Anglo Saxon Lyre

About: Animator. Artist. Sketcher. Player. Dreamer for hire... read before....

In a bigger project that I call "A Slice of Kelt" I try to take back ancient culture and items with modern technology.

The try here is to reproduce a big instrument that would be also playable with a desktop 3D printer.

You will need some instrument and software to reproduce the process, even if I will provide files of the result of my elaboration.

You need:

- Blueprint of an Anglo Saxon Lyre with measures

- A 3D software of your choice that you can use

- A 3D printer oh which you know the printing area

- A solder and some spare plastic from old 3D prints

- Hot glue (optional but usefull)

- A solid rope or an iron filament

- Guitar strings

- A tuner

Step 1: Some Historical Information

If you are going to reproduce something historical you need a documentation on which you can work.

In this case the blueprints of some artisan that is making still today the instrument are enough. You must pay attention to dimensions, shapes and all the parts you will need. If something is missing try to search for the finished job and see some photos. If you are not satisfied also some solution invented for other instruments can be used, but try always to stay close as possible to the original thing you are trying to recreate.

Step 2: 3D Your Blueprint

With a software of your choice now try to reproduce the item. Pay attention that you need then to 3D print the item so it must be a manifold mesh, with no holes or overlapping faces and you need to know how big the object must be to be exported at the exact size you need to be.

You can use a number of techniques for this step if you are a good 3D modeller.

Step 3: Slice Your 3D Object

You will have now a big object impossible to print on a desktop printer, but if you know the maximum printing size of your printer you can slice in parts the object and print it in different pieces. As you can see in the picture I have a lot of parts and they are all sliced on the size of my printer.

I give here the files in full size, up to you to make it printable on your printer.

Step 4: Solder Your Parts

I used a lot of glues without particular success on every material I printed. I discovered a simple and effective techniques that is soldering parts.

You ca use a solder (same for the PCBs) and some part of plastic that you have from old prints. The only important thing is that the plastic is the same of the print.

Simply melt the plastic on the rift of the two parts you want to solder together and you are done. Wait for the plastic to cool down before you can move the part around and fix all around on every side.

Step 5: Overview of the Parts

You will have parts that are ready to use and parts that are to assemble in this project. Try to keep track of what you have printed and where it goes, it takes time so be sure to have a place where you can store the parts ready to solder.

The object is big, it will be a total of 80cm tall at the end.

Step 6: String It Up

I had a bad rope and I changed it after the pictures with an iron wire because after the first tuning it snapped.

It is time to see if the bridge and the ropes fits, so try if you must file a bit the bridge to fit in its place and see how a guitar string is fixed to tie up the 6 strings you need.

Step 7: Glue the Parts

You have now your big soldered parts, reproducing here a bit of the classical method you can glue the Upper Cover to the Main Body. The plastic can be a little folded or uneven for a number of reasons. To fix the holes you can make a ring around the Lyre with the hot glue. This would help to make air inside the lyre be more effective to reproduce sounds. The empty space inside will be the amplification of your strings and to be closed well would help.

After the glue is fixed you can glue also the bridge on which the strings will sit and keep right distances to make possible to play the instrument.

Step 8: Tune Strings and You Are Ready to Play

I had to fix some things: first you need to be sure that all the keys can turn, the holes are good, the bridge is holding well to the cover and the rift on the bridge are big enough to take the strings.

The item is intended to be in wood, plastic is a bit more slippery. I had to cover with painter tape the keys to make them more strong and give the proper stop of the turn otherwise the tension would rotate the key. I have at the moment no idea of what are the right tunes for the chords and I will try a lot to have the right sound I would like to play.

This is a prototype based on the actual dimensions of the wood original, but with plastic I could use to have different dimensions to make it play well. But sure it plays and it is an anglo saxon lyre. The objective is achieved and I am happy with this job.

Hope you like and you can now produce you own 3D reproduction of what is your favorite instrument or item from ancient time.

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