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Ratcheting Capo

by LoboCNC Oct 4, 2017
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does not work because the hinges are welded. Everything exactly as described. Is still usable when you bend it

I’ve been learning a new song with a capo on fret 7. Print this at 110% the size and it fits all my guitars both acoustics and the fatter Spanish guitars.

Hey man this blew me away. It works on all my guitars fantastic job on this! Can you shoot us the .sldprt by chance? I’ve been looking to print those half capos that only touch three of the strings

Glad it works well for you. I've just posted the Solidworks (2011) file for you to hack on.

Thanks man you rock. I’ll send you the half capo that I remix. It’s fun to play on fret 2

Every time I try to separate the hinge, it just snaps in half. pls halp

Make sure your layer thickness is set to 0.2mm. Also, you may be overextruding so try lowering your extrusion multiplier setting.

Printed in Natural PLA at 220°C on a Wanhao i3 Duplicator.
Absolute perfect.
Many Thangs.

Printed on my sub 300 euro printer using decent filament, a lowish print speed, and 0.1 layers.
Worked perfectly, first time, a little clicking and popping in the hinge on first move, perfect since.

I am genuinely impressed with this, I stood in my workshop wiggling it about and grinning like a madman. The whole idea of a printed-in-place hinge that 'just works' is actually amazing.

I'm guessing you expect the print to close up slightly after detaching. For me (with PLA on an unheated bed) It's not very good at staying closed by itself, I feel the print could pre-tension the backpiece a bit more during printing, at present it tends to spring away from the arm.
I'll add more curve to the back piece of mine using hot water (finally an advantage to PLA's low glass point).

You are right, by itself it doesn't want to stay closed, but once you put it on your guitar neck, when the back side flexes to provide a little spring force, it will grip quite securely. Also, adding a little spongy pad to the back side (as shown in the photos) makes the clamping a little more forgiving.

I finally got to see it in action, and indeed, they stay secure once wrapped around the Guitar neck, nice design :-)
(I have the musical ability of a cockroach, so I was making these for some rather more talented friends)

Are you friends with crickets?

Thanks LoboCNC, made a few changes with the reprint and it worked it out. Not sure what made the difference on the Replicator 2 but went with suggested reposition, layer height at .10mm and put the print in the freezer overnight. Considerable force was used to loosen the hinge and print remained intact this time. Tried it out and works nicely, very good design!

Hi, i've got a makerbot replicator too. Can you tell how yoou printed the capo (settings) and what you've done after the printing? i've got the same problem as you, the capo is printed as only one piece.

Hi Ghano, Managed to do 2 successful prints now. Settings for Replicator 2: Standard Resolution, Infill 35%, Shells = 2, Layer Height = .10mm, Raft = no, Supports = no, PLA temp = 230c, speed while extruding 35 mm/s.

The first print I did the joint was totally fused together which I attributed to the layer height (ie. .20mm) and number of shells (ie. 3). Since then I've tried both printing in both original position and also turning the print 90 degrees on the Z axis and either works. I also went an extra step to put my print in the freezer overnight as I heard that can help contract the plastic. Removing from the freezer, holding it close to the hinge, I applied heavy force to open it which I thought would break the hinge right off, I heard a snapping sound and luckily the capo remained intact. Best of luck to you, I found the PLA could handle quite a bit of stress without breaking. Some kind of padding is needed to prevent string vibration.

thanks for your reply, but because my printer have 3 differt kind of speed settings (shells, infill and z axis) which one should i change?

Hi Ghano,

Not sure I understand your question. I'm using MakerWare, with the original Replicator 2 released in 2012. Sounds like you have a fancy smart extruder? I've attached a screenshot of my settings for you.

Any suggestions on printing for Makerbot Replicator 2? My hinge is fused together, unable to break apart.

Hmm, you could try printing at a lower temp. It could be you also need to adjust your extrusion multiplier downward a bit. As I recall Replicator 2's have pretty good airflow, so I'm guessing that's not the problem. Although...try rotating the part by 90 degrees on the build plate. This may reorient the airflow to a more favorable direction across the part.

Great work, Thank you!
Fits perfect on my guitars.

Printed it today, was a little scared of breaking the hinge but had no problem at all and works great!