- August 28, 2017 at 8:32 pm #9204
I am currently designing Janko keys to refro fit standard 32 and 37 key melodicas and print off with a 3D printer but I was wondering if anybody has a scanned in version of the standard piano keys that I could get from them? I’m trying to get the keys into my CAD program but its slow going and a complete version would really speed things up a lot. I’ve tried to get a hold of Daren but he seems to be AFK at the moment.
Can anybody help?August 29, 2017 at 8:18 pm #9205Paul DurhamParticipant
I certainly don’t have that kind of talent. I WONDER, how can you widen the keys when the spacing of the key pads remains the same?August 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm #9206
I won’t be widening anything, just the opposite really. Will keep the spacing the same at the pivot point and making the body of the keys skinnier.August 29, 2017 at 11:44 pm #9207
Let me also be very clear, I’m just looking for the standard key, I’ll shape it from there.August 31, 2017 at 3:52 pm #9208Shannon MParticipant
Which melodica keys are you interested in? Each make and model is different. Also, how many rows are you planning?
ShannonAugust 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm #9210
I am looking for the Yamaha Pianica P-37D. The white key is 93.9 mm long,12.2 mm wide, the black key is 59.6mm long, 8.1 mm wide. If I’m not mistaken, this is the same instrument Daren used to model his 3D Melodica after.
I’m also planning on 6 rows of keys but 4 would do it as a minimum.September 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm #9217
Hi Steve, good to hear you’re exploring some building options!
The keys I printed don’t fit the P37D, they only fit my melodica. Dimensions are only roughly similar. Having said that, all those files were tragically lost about a year ago.
But its not all bad news. It would be very difficult to 3D print keys to exactly fit the P37d – it would take trial and error, with dimensions, materials and printing process. My preferred choice is SLS (selective laser sintering), for its relative accuracy and rigidity.
Even once you get the dimensions right, 3D printed keys will never be as strong, rigid and accurate as your existing Yamaha keys. These keys are perfect, and provide an airtight fit. The springs are already provided, and they have a great feel. I recommend using these keys as much as you can. Can you build on them? They file down very easily so you could create a level base for black and white keys, and add what you need on top.
You might not even have to 3D print at all!September 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm #9239
Thanks for the reply and I’m sorry to hear about the loss of files and all of that hard work. Yes I have built upon many melodicas up to this point, which is a arduous process with a spread of about 3 useable rows of keys, the third being too close to the pivot point to really be functional. This coupled with the added weight and size make the Melodica far less portable and playable. It is because of these I have taken to redesigning the keys. You are right, the keys are perfectly designed, but with the wrong layout and I feel it’s well overdue to get a Janko layout on such a great instrument so everyone can enjoy a uniform keyboard layout. I plan on leaving the bottom of the keys exactly as they are and building on top and outward as the mechanism to get air across the reed would be the same.
This being said can you go into more detail as to how you got your keys into the computer which lead to a viable reproduction that you sent to have professional printed for your current 3D Melodica? I’m working with Blender, my imagination and a pair of calipers.
Thanks.September 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm #9240
Hi Steve – I see you’re looking for more flexibility than you can achieve by using existing keys as a base.
I don’t know Blender, but I ended up using Solidworks. Its an advanced program, and I had to get several lessons to learn how to use it and model in 3D. Are you starting from scratch? If your software is capable, it might be a case of more learning. Keys aren’t that complex, so it should definitely be possible.
I used digital callipers for measuring. I made the keys to fit my own melodica design, so it was quite easy to get an exact match. But even when they matched in theory, there were many obstacles with regard to air tightness, accuracy, getting a smooth key depress, evenness of key layout, weight distribution and key rigidity (which effects responsiveness).
You could try scanning the keys with a 3D scanner, and then tidying them up?September 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm #9241
Actually, come to think of it, I’d probably scan the keys (or get them scanned), and then use these scans to take measurements for accurate drawings. Obviously the scans won’t be perfect because there will be a degree of bend in the plastic.
And then make new 3D files based on your drawingsSeptember 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm #9243
I would love to try Solidworks but I’m kind of stuck with Blender as I’m a Linux guy and it’s the best option not to mention free but with that being said, it’s coming along. I’ve accepted the limitation of my lack of knowledge as it’s an easy fix, just more practice and familiarity with the software.
It’s good to hear that you where able to get a good looking model in with the same tools I have. As far as the little issues with fit, tightness and rigidity, I’m prepared to cross that bridge when I get there, but as you know, the first hurtle is getting a good 3D model, which I will. i’m going to eat this elephant one bite at a time.
I would also be happy to keep everybody posted here at Melodicaworld as I would love to make uniform keyboard a option for all melodica players. This will be another thing to add to my jazz method book and near future Ph.d prospects!
Oh, if only I had a holodeck and a replicator…well at least I kind of do have a replicator.
Thanks again Daren!September 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm #9244
It looks like 3D scanning an object is easy to do with a camera, the right software and good lighting, which is another option I’m trying and exploring.
So many pictures of melodica keys…September 4, 2017 at 4:34 pm #9245
Yes, please keep us posted. It would be fascinating to follow your process of learning and making, and hopefully there’s a few of us who will offer some opinions along the way!September 6, 2017 at 7:28 pm #9254
I am slowly hacking away at a key base, here is the first real model I’ve made that actually is starting to look like a melodica key.
Blender is a wonderful piece of software…and it’s free!!!!September 7, 2017 at 12:21 am #9258
Looks great Steve! Very exciting to see things starting to take shape
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