Watch this RepRap 3D printer perform Beethoven’s “Für Elise” using only motor sounds.
If you’ve ever used a 3D printer, you know all too well the distinct sound of the stepper motors as they rotate and change direction. Well, a Maker by the name of DeltaRAP recently decided to change that by modding his Atmel based RepRap 3D printer to emit the harmonic tunes of Beethoven. In fact, his machine could now play the world-renowned “Für Elise” in its entirety.
Inspired by a video of a CNC milling machine making music from its motors, the Maker used g-code commands to convert the printer’s stepper motor movements into exact tonal sounds. After experiencing a few difficulties, DeltaRAP realized that his Rostock printer — which is powered by an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) — could produce distinct tones after all, by moving the print head vertically. This would allow for a singular tone to play from the device, as it causes all three motors to move in unison.
“Delta style printers don’t rotate one motor if you tell them to move for example X axis by 10mm. The firmware instead recalculates the movement of each motor so the end result is the movement of the head by 10mm on X axis. The only movement that doesn’t have to be divided between all three motors is Z movement. We can use this knowledge to slightly modify the g-code and make [the] Delta printer a music player,” DeltaRAP writes.
Pretty cool, right? You read about the Maker’s entire mod here, and watch it in action below.