Create a Penny Whistle

The following set of steps show how to design a working penny whistle mouthpiece that may be printed on a 3D printer and attached to a length of 1/2 in PVC tubing.

A penny whistle (or Irish whistle, etc.) uses a vibrating stream of air that resonates inside of a tube of a given length to produce sound waves at a given pitch. The distinguishing feature of a penny whistles as compared to other types of flutes is that it uses what is called a fipple to produce the vibrations.

Instructions

  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 1: The Fipple Mouthpiece

A fipple is a type of mouthpiece where a stream of air is blown through a channel and cut by a blade, which allows a thin sheet of air to pass beneath the blade. The fipple makes it easy for the player to set up the vibrations, but gives the player less control over shaping the note, as compared to say, a flute. Above is an animated GIF of a fipple producing vibrations, from Air Vibrations in a Recorder (in Dutch).

Instructions

  1. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: Critical Dimension

There are two critical dimension you need to pay attention to as we begin.

The diameter of the pipe (21.45mm) the mouthpiece will connect with and the small offset (0.2mm) between the blade and the air channel. If either of these dimensions are off your mouthpiece may not function.

The blade must be offset 0.2mm inside the air channel to allow for a small amount of air to travel under the blade and the rest to escape from the top of the mouth piece.

Instructions

  1. Continue to the next step to begin building your mouthpiece.

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