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Banjo Ukulele (Banjolele)

by AndreasBastian Jul 14, 2013
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I went ahead and customized 3d printed bolts to save the 11 bucks on the cost of the bolts and nuts. These won't be nearly as good as metal ones, but should work fairly well.
M4x50- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2630762/#files
M4 hex nut- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2630759/#files
M4x14- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2630749/#files

M4x50 socket head cap screw
M4 hex nut
M4x14 socket head cap screws

Im printing it right now. This isn't a project that I'm heavily invested in so I think Im going to cad some pegs to fit the the boltholes and superglue it together.

Please, how long may it take to print it?

Will the minimum amount of support material work inside the body?

How much plastic does this take at 30% fill? Or how many grams does it weigh?

I thing a read somewhere it should be about 500 grams

Your "following this diagram" link is no longer active.
Can you add the image to your Thing?

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I see that you have multiple bodies. Which works best or are they all the same?

should this be printed with 100% infill?

100% infill is not necessary-- I used 30% for all the parts. You may find some differences in acoustics with different infill densities.

has anyone tried adding standard metal machine heads to this design? I have not printed it yet, but looking at the head stock holes, it seems like you could add metal threaded machine heads to improve tuning (albeit not being "pure" 3d printed any more :)

Hi eveybody! Has anyone printed this in a RepRap prusa i3? I am trying to do it but I'm afraid PLATE2 doesn't fit.

Hey Andreas,
Do you think that with a large build platform that could fit the neck and body, I could possibly make this a neck-through bajolele?

Just found out my school has a free to use 3D printer, and would love to try this! I'm an avid guitar and ukulele player. I've also read about minor adjustments of fine details like the bridge placement. As I understand, the 12th fret needs to be exactly half-way between either ends of the string (from the nut to the bridge, then give yourself a little wiggle room to finely adjust the intonation). Just measuring it on the main image, it looks like you've got about 288 pixels from the nut to the 12th fret, then 223 pixels from the 12th fret to the bridge. That's about 77% as far as it needs to be. For ideal tuning, it would need to be almost where the honeycomb pattern stops, but that probably wouldn't resonate well. I would love to try either adding more frets (which would move the 12th fret closer to the nut, which would let us keep the bridge in the middle part of the membrane), or creating a slightly larger body. I was going to suggest a longer ukulele shape, but I suppose it would be about the same amount of plastic around the body as being round. I don't have any experience in 3D modeling yet, but I might have to learn just to tweak this. I like what I see so far!

Great analysis locofocos! I pulled all the measurements for the neck directly from an old banjo-uke, so I'm not sure what acoustics design rules apply to those vs. traditional ukuleles. There is definitely room for improvement of tuning using mathematically-grounded geometries. I do know from experience with this particular instrument that the bridge position and angle, as you pointed out, are quite important to tone volume and quality. And as for modifying this design, go for it! I specifically designed it to be modular so that the resonating body could be easily swapped out. Like-wise with the neck.

Your second M4x14 amazon link links to M10x50 bolts. I think you meant M4x50? I got some M10x50 and they certainly are not going to fit! At least now I know what M10 looks like.

you used pla, right? has anybody tested this with abs? will it work with abs? thanks

I did all my printing in natural PLA but would love to see this thing in ABS! I think it would work, but suspect that the timbre of the instrument would change. Let me know if you get a chance to print it in ABS-- I'd love to compare the frequency spectra to one printed in PLA!

Anyone tried this in Nylon or PET? Interested to know if acoustic qualities or durability would play a part.

can you use skirt/brim

I haven't tried skirting, but don't think it could hurt. The head is nearly the maximum size of the build envelope, so skirting that might cause trouble, but all the other parts should print very well with a skirt.

Quick question, how did you bridge the gap between the brace in the body and the honeycomb structure beneath? It looks to span 12cm.

I printed this on the Rep2, so the active cooling does a decent job getting the first layers of the brace to bridge. I often had to pick out a couple fallen filaments once the print finished, but this never interfered with the rest of the print.

Great job!!!!

Just finished mine and it works great. Gets out of tune a little bit due to the pegs slipping, but nothing some M4 nuts and sets screws cant fix. Posted a video up on my channel - http://youtu.be/kkhSGr2A2Z4http://youtu.be/kkhSGr2A2Z4

Thanks again!!

Tom, Ceative_Hacker, I designed these parts for printing on a Replicator 2. The neck, which is 8.5" long, might be tricky on a 6x8 bed, though loading it in Repetier-Host indicates that it should fit on a Prusa Mendel's 8x8 bed.

What Printer did you use when printing our your parts?:D very awesome will attempt it on my reprap :D

what are the max sizes of the parts? could parts be printed on a 6x8 build platform? this thing is cool, i hope i can print it

Amazing!!! I want to print out a mandolin but this is so freaking awesome!!! I think i will start with this.

I will be printing this out in the next few days. I will let you know how it goes. After that I will be experimenting with different design iterations.

Thank you for the share!

Sounded like you started to bust out a little AC/DC riff.. niiiiiiiiiice...

Looks and sounds great! I should incorporate some of your ideas in to the next version of the Makerlele! Thanks for the awesome contribution!

Thanks Brent! Again, it was your Makerlele that catalyzed the whole process. Looking forward to the next rev!

I will have to try this out!! Are there any problems with putting the cables into tension?

The tuning pegs are conical (like those used in violins), which allows for better control of the arresting friction (push in for more, back out for less). Once the strings settle in, the thing holds pitch pretty well.

Learned this one the hard way didn't we?