Designing and 3D Printing Drumsticks in AutoDesk Inventor




Introduction: Designing and 3D Printing Drumsticks in AutoDesk Inventor

Have you ever really wanted a light weight, fragile, crappy drumstick? No probably not but a 3D printed drumstick still sounded cool so I decided I would do a tutorial on how to design one in Autodesk Inventor, this also counts as a English assignment for my class. All of the work done in Inventor was done in inches, sorry I am in the U.S. This is also my first Instructable so bare with me.

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Step 1: First You Need to Download and Open Autodesk Inventor.

If you are a student you can go to their website and download it for free, you will need to make an account. If you are not a student then you have to pay a lot of money for this, there are a lot of other 3D design programs out there that are free.

Step 2: Create a New Part

Once you have opened Autodesk Inventor click on new part. You should have a screen that looks like the second picture. This is just basic setup of the program.

Step 3: Get the Dimensions for Your Drumstick

You now need to get the dimensions of the drum stick you want to make, I would recommend going to the Vic Firth website, they got a ton of drum sticks, with sizes included.

Write down the dimensions somewhere.

Step 4: Go Back to Inventor

Once you have written down the dimensions of the stick you want, go back to Autodesk Inventor and hit start 2D sketch. You will than be shown a set of orange planes, this is asking you which plane you want to start your 2D sketch on, it doesn't matter which one you click just click a plane. This does affect the orientation but you can just rotate your drumstick in you slicer before you print. You should have a coordinate plane show up like in the third picture.

Step 5: Time to Make a Circle

Click on the circle tool in the toolbar near the top of your screen.

Step 6: Create Your Circle

Click on the middle of the coordinate plan and make a circle, it doesn't matter how big you make it. After you have made a circle click on the dimensions tool in the top toolbar, click the circle with that tool. The dimensions tool resizes things to an exact value. A box should pop, type in that box the diameter of the stick you want to make. After all of that hit the green check mark and hit finish 2D sketch.

Step 7: Lets Give Our Drumstick Some Length

When your done making the circle hit the extrude button in the top toolbar, then hit the circle with that tool selected. The extrude button turns your 2D sketch into a 3D object, its one of the most important buttons you will probably use in this program. A box will come up, type in the length of the drumstick you want here, you should have this written down. Then hit okay or the green check mark.

Step 8: Bottom of the Drumstick

To round out the bottom of the drumstick hit the fillet tool at top and then click on the bottom of your drumstick. The fillet tool rounds things out, its main use is to make objects less jagged. In the R text box type in a number from 1 to 3.5, this changes the curve of the bottom of the drumstick, you can change this to how you like.

NOTE: If there is a yellow triangle with a exclamation point next to the text box than your value that you typed in is either too big or too small.

After you get the end of the drumstick looking how you want, hit the green check mark.

Step 9: Save Your Project

You should always continuously save your project in case your computer just decides to die on you while your working, this has happened to me before and it is aggravating. To save just hit the little floppy disk icon in the top left corner. Make sure you save your file in a place you will remember and make sure that it is a .ipt file.

Step 10: Starting the 2nd Sketch

We now need to separate the stick from the tip of the drumstick so that we can make a cone shape going to the tip from the stick. Start by clicking the + sign next to the folder that says origin, the origin folder should be on the left side. That will open up a bunch of planes, click on the top plane that says YZ plane. MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON A PLANE THAT IS PARALLEL TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR DRUMSTICK, if you click on the plane that is on the bottom of the stick, it won't work. Refer to image 3 of this step. Click the little icon that has a pencil in it next to the drum stick and that will start a new 2D sketch on the YZ plane. You should have a screen that looks similar to the last picture. If your screen looks like the fifth picture you made the sketch on the wrong plane, to fix hit Ctrl z and click on one of the planes in the origin folder and hit the pencil icon until you get a screen that looks similar to picture 4.

Step 11: Math for Making the Cut

Now we have to figure out what to cut out of our drumstick, and if this doesn't make sense now it will in a moment.

You will have to multiply the length of your drumstick by .8 to get the first number.

The length of my drumstick that I am making is 16.625 so 16.625 * .8 = 13.3.

There is one more number that we have to calculate, it is the length of your drumstick again multiplied by .965, this will give you the second number you will need.

16.625 * .965 = about 16

remember these two number, or write them down.

Step 12: Making Lines

Go back to inventor. Click on the line tool in the top toolbar, make a line starting at the middle of the coordinate plane and ending going straight up, length doesn't matter because we will be using the dimensions tool. Make sure the line is going perfectly straight up. Using the dimensions tool make that line that you just made the first number you calculated, for me that would be 13.3, then hit the green check mark. You now should have one line, now we need to make a second line. Make another line starting from the middle, make this line going straight up too but make it a longer than the first line. Then click the dimensions tool and make it as long as the second number you calculated, for me that would be 16. You should have something close to the fourth picture. Now we need to make a rectangle between those two lines, it needs to be as thick as the drumstick. Using the line tool, construct the rectangle. You should have 4 yellow dots in each corner of the rectangle, like the picture above. To be sure that you made it, trace the rectangle again with the line tool. Then hit finish sketch.

Step 13: Extruding the Rectangle

Hit the extrude button, and select the rectangle you just made. You will need to change a few settings so that it cuts instead of creates. To do this click the shape that is pointed at in picture 3. After you click that it should look like the fourth picture. you will also need to make it so that it cuts in both directions, to do this click the thing that is pointed at in the fifth picture. Make sure that the cut is bigger than the diameter, change the number to 1 inch, or something bigger than your drumstick diameter. Then click the green check mark. You will now have a floating cylinder, like in picture 7. Cutting this material out will allow us to make a loft/cone shape.

Step 14: 3rd Sketch Math

We need to do a little more math for the 3rd sketch. Get the diameter of your drumstick and multiply that number by .476

My drumstick diameter is .63 so .63 * .476 = .3 ish

Write this number down.

Step 15: Creating a Tiny Cylinder

Go back to Inventor and using the cube in the top right corner, rotate your drumstick until you can see the bottom of the small floating cylinder, like in picture 2. Click the icon right above the start 2D sketch button, it should have a pencil. Then click on the bottom of the floating cylinder. This will start a new sketch on the bottom of the cylinder. Make a circle using the circle tool in the center of the coordinate plane. Then use the dimension tool to make it the number that you just calculated in the last step, that would be .3 for me. Then hit finish sketch.

Step 16: Extrude the Circle

We are now going to extrude the circle, so click the extrude button. Then with that tool selected click the circle you just made on the bottom side of the floating cylinder. The only thing you need to change is the number, change the number to .0001. Then hit okay. This is so the loft has something to attach to, you will see what the loft does in the next few steps.

Step 17: Creating a Loft

To get the cone shape, we need to create a loft, click the loft button in the top toolbar. With the loft tool selected click the top edge of the big cylinder than click the circle that you just extruded on the bottom part of the small cylinder. Then hit OK. If yours looks like the 4th picture, your doing things right!

Hey it's actually starting to look like a drumstick! Except for that tip.

Step 18: Math for Circle 2

This is the last time that you have to do math, I promise. Get the diameter of you drumstick, and multiply that number by .69 to get the diameter of the circle that you will be making in the next step.

My drumstick diameter is .63 so .63 * .69 = .435 ish

Write this number down.

Step 19: Trimming Down the Tip

We need to trim down the tip a little, to do this we need to make a new sketch. Rotate your drumstick so you can see the top of it, and using the same steps in step 15 start a new sketch on the top of the drum stick. Using the circle tool make a circle in the center of your drumstick. Then get the dimensions tool and change the circle diameter to the number you recorded last time for me that was .435. Then using the circle tool again make a circle starting in the center and make it as big as your drumstick diameter. After that hit finish sketch.

Step 20: Cutting Some of the Tip

We need to get rid of some of the drumstick tip so hit extrude then select the inside of the 2 circles you just made. You need to change it to cut again instead of create like in step 13. Than change the extrusion length to 1 inch, you may need to change the direction of the extrusion to do this click the button pointed at in picture 3, you only need to do this if it is not pointing down. Then hit Ok.

Step 21: Rounding the Tip

This is the hardest part of making a drumstick, rounding the tip. The main 2 tools that you are going to be using to round the tip are the Chamfer tool and the Fillet tool, these are both used on edges. The Chamfer tool makes 1 edge into 2 edges, and the fillet tool rounds an edge. With this part of making a drumstick, you can do it how ever you want, there is no right or wrong way to do it. This is what I did but you don't have to do the exact same thing.

1. I started with a .125 chamfer on the top.

2. I then did a .125 chamfer on the chamfer I just did before.

3. Then I did a .125 chamfer on the chamfer I just did before.

4. Next I did a .1 fillet on the top edge.

5. Then I did a .1 fillet on the fillet I just did before.

6. Then I did a .1 fillet on the next edge.

7. Then I did a .1 fillet on the next edge down.

8. Finally I did a .21 fillet on the last edge.

Step 22: Making It Wood

You can make your drumstick look like wood if you want, at the top find the tab that says tools and click on it. Then click on material button. Scroll down until you see wood or a different material you like than hit the arrow next to it.

Step 23: Cutting It Up

If your printer is big enough to print your drumstick whole you can just skip this part but if your printer is like mine your going to have to cut it up and glue it. First you need to decide where your going to cut it, I will be doing my in thirds. The total length of my drumstick is 16.625 so I divided that by 3 which was 5.541. First rotate your drumstick so its horizontal, use the arrows next to the cube, than start a new sketch on the YZ plane (Same as in step 10). Make your first line starting at the center and going the way your drumstick points, left for me, make this line as long as you want to cut it, 5.541 inches for me. At the end of that line make a line going straight up and make it as long as the diameter of your drumstick. Then for me I added 5.541 to 5.541 which is 11.082 for my second part. I made a line 11.082 inches long and then at the end I made another line going straight up. Then hit finish sketch. You need to make a duplicate of this sketch to do this you right click on the sketch and hit copy. Make another sketch on the YZ plane and then hit ctrl v to paste the sketch then hit finish sketch.

Step 24: Split Tool

The split tool allows us to split are drumstick into 3 parts. First you need to save before you can start splitting. Hit the split tool and then hit the button that is pointed at in the 2nd picture. Click the vertical line where you want to split your drumstick. Then hit ok and save this part of the drumstick MAKE SURE YOU HIT SAVE AS. Go back to the finished drumstick file then repeat with the other side of the drum stick. For the middle part of the drum stick you have to split it twice. Open the split tool again and select one line you want to split but make sure that the arrow is pointing away from the middle part than hit ok. Do it again for the other side and save it as middle part. And now you have cut up your drumstick.

Step 25: Exporting As a STL File

To export as a STL file go to the "I" in the top left corner then click on export>Cad file then change save as type to STL. Before you save click on the options button and change the units to source units. Save it where you want and now you can open it in a slicer and print it.

Step 26: Final Product

I printed my drumsticks in PLA at 30% infill and they worked pretty good, I had to glue them together. They do need supports. I added stubs and holes to the drumstick parts so they could be assembled easily. I also engraved my name into mine. Here are my final drumstick files (without engraving).

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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So 3d printed drum sticks are weak?


    3 years ago

    How do you instal?


    Reply 3 years ago

    Go to the autodesk website and make a account.


    3 years ago

    This is a great tutorial, my drumsticks turned out pretty good!