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Full Size Working Trumpet

by hobbyman Apr 22, 2014
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How did you get the measurements? I want to do this with a saxophone and trying to find the dimensions without taking apart my personal instrument

I took apart several of my instruments and measured them inside out with calipers. I only used the interior measurements for the overall sound tube and designed the exterior details of the instrument to match the interior. I also moved the 3rd valve slide to the right. I guess for making the valves identical. Not exacly sure after several years if they are really identical, do not remember.

I am printing one right now in 100% Infill Gold PET-G. I can not play the trumpet its a gift for a friend which plays really good.
I will share it as it is finished and maby my friend let me record how it plays!
Thank you for the great work!

we'd love to hear that recording.

If this tread is still working I have a few questions. I am thinking of printing this trumpet. How do you insert the spit valves after everything is printed?

I thought of installing them by stretch-widening the sides. If necessary, the axle lenght of the spit valves can be shortened by cutting.

what settings are you using and should i print all arts vertical?

How does it sound when someone who knows how to play it plays?

never heard so far.

Sorry if I am asking silly questions
what size of plastic pipe should I use for the valve slides?

best to measure them from the model.

This may seem very unusual and possibly insane, but I have an idea for the valves: square shaped valves and square shaped valve chambers. I would think the more even surface area would help with air leaks, and the flat faces making sanding down the valves easier while preserving its shape more than if it was circular. I would even think a similarly efficient design could be accomplished with an octagon as well.

Would it be possible for you to modify the design so that i could insert a pair of cheap brass valves instead- i have had a fair few plastic trumpets the best of which was the tromba which used brass valves instead of plastic as it gave a better sound and worked without any issues.
Would this be possible please?

that would require a lot of time and effort i guess. The design of my plastic trumpet's third valve is different from most of the trumpets on the market, only matching some older trumpet models and i guess one of the plastic trumpets, so your pistons won't fit my trumpet without a big modification. And modifying the design for your specific valve pistons is very difficult as I don't have them in my hands and can not measure and model them correctly.

Would you be able to make a model of a 9C mouthpiece or a 9A please?

Sure yes, if you can provide me the dimensions. I don't have a 9C or 9A unfortunately.

I just built this trumpet in about 3 days. Build time was about 60 hours using glow in the dark PLA at 210C, heated bed at 60C, 100mm/s print speed. Minimal support was needed so tubes kept clean. I'm in the process of slightly sanding out the valves which are a very snug fit at the moment. I will post this make with pics when I'm done.

One question though, how do you install the spit valves?

Hello n8080 :)

I'd love to see the pictures of your build when you complete it. And hearing it being played by a trumpet player would be great too.

for the spit valves, you'll need springs that are used for trumpet spit valves; something like this
it should be possible to bend a wire into this shape, heat it on an burner until it gets red hot and immerse it into cold water to make it harder and more springy.
and you may take a look at a trumpet or google "spit valve" and many close up photos come which show how the spring is installed onto the valve and the trumpet.


I'm in a real predicament here. I have the entire trumpet together and I know for a fact that the valves are installed correctly but I can't get a clean sound from it. I press the different valves and have verified one at a time that the air is flowing through the valve and out the other side for all combinations of open and closed valves. I have put vaseline around the valves to seal up any air leaks but the sound didn't change. It sounds partially muffled and when pressing any valve the note does not change. I am at a loss. Any ideas? Did you have this problem?

Hello my friend, your build looks great. sorry to hear that you have problems getting sound. Printed trumpets are known to be not producing perfect sounds anyway. But your sounds seem extra muffled than the other video in my trumpet page.

According to my experience, the sound in your video very much resembles to the sound I get from my trumpets and cornets when the valves are swapped by mistake or not aligned to their places perfectly.

There are numbers at the bottom part of the valves as 1 2 3 and 1 should be the one closest to the mouthpiece.

If that is the way it is in your assembly, then you may check whether the valves are perfectly aligned to their places.

if these are all ok, then maybe within the pipes and/or u turns there might be some residue support material left. There is a flexible wire sold at the music stores for trumpets. It has brushes in both ends and can be pushed into curving trumpet pipes to puch out anything and brush the inside walls of the pipes. That might be of help too.

I made the valves as snug fits to the instrument body and wanted them to be sanded to match. thinking otherwise there would be an unvaoidable gap and because of this gap and the imperfect finish of 3d printing, a perfect fit wouldn't ever be achieved.

I hope this helps and you get nicer sounds from your instrument.

The valves are in the right place so it has to be a misaligned valve. I checked all of the tubing and it's clear of debris so it has to be a misalignment. Since I can't see the inside, I have to guess if it's in the right place. I wish there was a better way.
In the meantime I'm going to take your advice and send in the brush. I just happen to have one sitting in my real trumpet's case.
It would be nice if I could take the metal valves from my real trumpet and drop them in to see if that solved the leaking problem but I'm guessing that's not even close to an option.

Can this mouthpiece be used for other trumpets? Thanks!!

as you can see at the video,

What are the max part sizes? I have a tiny printer that will only do 4x4"... Can I at least do most of it?

Can you show a video of a real trumpet player playing it?

I'll post as soon as I receive a video from one of the builders.

Just out of curiosity, where did you get the pictures of the red white and blue one from?

I guess you are the builder, Nice to meet you. Your trumpet looks great. Could you add more photos and preferably videos of the instrument as a make? Happy printing.

I've found them on google images by chance.

Quick demo from a non trumpet player ...


How long do you think this will take to make overall? also, are any of the parts over 7x7x7 inches?

your time related question has been answered below by an other commentar and there are no bigger parts than 7x7x7 inches.

oh ya. ok sorry i didnt see that. thanks.

Hobbyman, awesome model, I'm half way printing...

Edited... worked out the sizes off the tubes.. will model a corkscrew models... 8-)
Here are the 3 models... print 2 of each, one at a time.

Slide pipes for TrumpeT

Thanks ;)
waiting your make pictures impatiently. Thanks for the contribution with the tubes. I guess they are thicker than the tubes in my design. how thick they are?
Happy printing & making. hope it sounds good.

The good thing about corkscrew, is you can print as thick as you want. I printed 0.49mm first. See how it feels after the end caps finish. I have printed vases at 0.8 before, they are very tough. I have only work in progress pics so far, main body finish, working on the tubes next. Tring to decide how to print the big loopy tubes. Vertical or flat ..... They are next 8-)

how long does this take to make.
how many pieces

It's a lot dependent on your printing setup. I'm taking 7-13 hours each for bits... Small tubes in corkscrew mode only 20min each.

How do you get it into corkscrew mode? sorry im not that good at this stuff.

It's a function of the slicer software, not all will have it.. I use Simplified3D for my slicing ant it works wonderfully...

you can count the files at the "Thing Files" section above and time it takes to make is up to the makers' ability and his/her printer's speed. But I guess it will not take less than 100 hours of printing and 10 hours of matching&assembling parts together.

how long does this take to make and does it work

I was able to finish mine in about a month, printing anywhere from 1-3 parts per day 2-4 days per week. In terms of sound: mine is a bit muffled due to air leaks around the valve area and maybe because of the .2mm & .3mm resolutions I used. With some modification however, this will most likely work (if there are no air leaks), as playing the mouthpiece into the bodyupfront with bell attached produces a bugle-like sound.

Hey Drew, could you add photos of your print? I guess you can seal the leaks to a degree by appying vaseline like cream into the problematic areas. Vaseline can also be used at the valves to make them less leaky. You may need stronger springs at the valves, oiled with vaseline. I'd appreciate a video after you did the sealing. smoothing inside of the pipes by acetone vapor methods can also enable the air inside to flow better. thanks for your time.

Just finished it. I'm not getting much in terms of sound, and just plainly blowing into it I have noticed that somehow in the valve cavities the air loses speed, maybe because its getting out (I printed the bottom part of the body with the 2 part files, and there may be air leaks I could fix by printing the single piece version). If this can be fixed I think I could expect sounds from this, as playing just the bell and bodyfront attached along with the mouthpiece makes good sounds.

Nowadays I'm using epoxy resin to glue printed parts together. It forms a very strong bond and also with its lower viscosity, easily forms a %100 airtight joint. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos of your trumpet. Wish you good luck.

Only 2 more pieces to make! :D I should have it done tomorrow and post a make sometime within a week.

Sounds great, I Hope everything goes well. Dont forget to add photos (many of them) of your make.

I decided recently it would be too much of a pain to sand the valves, so I scaled down the X and Z axes of the file down to 19mm instead of 19.80mm (before I rotated the print so it points upward for convienence purposes.) This has proved effective and I have a staggaringly less amount of sanding to do on the parts. I also scaled down the valve keys by about .6mm on the shorter sides to compensate for this valve adjustment.

I just printed the bodydown front file with support. Though an absolute pain to remove, I was able to get rid of the support and after some intensive sanding got the valve to fit. I have noticed an error in the valve lid file: In order for the bodydown part to fit, I had to clip off the ridges between the circular ridges that the springs go inside. Other than that printing is going well. If I continue printing at the rate I am it should be finished anywhere from on to a few days before 2/21/15.

Hello Drew, Thanks for pointing out the issue at the file. I hope it didn't cause a big problem in your overall trumpet printing job.
I did an extensive checking on solidworks in detailed section view and also saw the issue. As of 2/9/2015 I've corrected it and removed the faulty file, uploaded a Version 2.0 lid file. It lacks the ridges you've clipped.
Wish you happy printing and thanks for the feedback.

Comments deleted.

I'm wondering how I'm gonna work the body in terms of support. I use makerware and am not sure whether to print using support because I'm not sure if it will use support for inside the tubes (which is extremely annoying to remove). I am using the two bodydown files to print this.

Comments deleted.

I've printed the ends for the slides along with pipes for them so far. I have not used support and things are coming out fine. Now, after printing the lid and spit valves, I am printing the valves. (I had an SD read error while printing the bell)

I'm printing the body sideways with the area holding the valves facing sideways too. Will I need support for this or any of the other parts?

I guess those cylindirical forms might support themselves. Won't your printing software generate the necessary support if there is any need? I'd love to see your finished trumpet, please add photos after you complete. Happy printing.

I'm going to be receiving my 3d printer within the next month, and I plan to print either this or the pocket cornet you have. If/when I do, I'll definitely post a video or at least soundtrack of what it sounds like!

I'd love to hear it
happy printing.

I print trumpet. but I makes a popping sound.
I can not determine the cause.

Sounds like a blocked airpath, either on directly pipes or by a misplaced valve.
could you send a video of you playing it thru youtube etc?
then me and other visitors may suggest solutions.

Any update? My 3D printer comes in the mail tomorrow and I'd like to print me a trumpet!

I was most of the way through the prints, just 1 or 2 prints away, But the files were somewhat imperfect and it was pretty clear the valves wouldnt work as intended.

I'm here to help and iron out any imperfections you might report. Just let me know.

I never finished by print. Some parts are difficult to print on my printer and the valves I think were a bit deformed from my prints due to gravity. I also ran out of filament, so I haven't progressed on printing this much more.

ok. Sorry I havent been active. I have been out of town. Hopefully I will get it finished up soon and be able to give pics.

I had made a mistake and uploaded the copy of an other part as the shank version 02. Now I've updated that file with the correct part data. I think that is your missing part. It will connect bell bow to the body up, it will also support the mouthpiece. Thanks for pointing out the mistake.

ok I have printed almost all of it. I will show pics once almost done. I have one problem. When I printed the bell bow it does not attach with the pipe it should in the body up. Is there a adaptor or other part I have to print in order to get it to work. I will upload a pic later to show What I mean.

sorry about lack of photos I was out of town and still havent gotten to it yet. Also I had a fail or two. User error. But I will try to get pics soon

the printer will support it from below with automatically created additional structure which will be removed by hand or other method after printing.

how can the sides of the body print mid air?

Ill try to get photos later this week

Joelizenson and Raptor, could you please share some photos? ;)

I put a couple of photos of what I've printed so far in the makes section.
It really looks great! Nice work and thanks for uploading some halved versions of the large parts.
I'll let you know how those parts print.

I've uploaded 4 new files as V02, kept the V01 version as well. These new files are for smaller printers; halved versions of the large body parts. If you can print large parts then go ahead, if your printer is small, print the V02 files and glue them later with acetone or any other adhesive suitable for your print material.

Hello Joe, the dimensions of those files are the same, if you already printed them than your prints should be usable. I'just dividing them for printability with smaller printers.

ok I have printed the body,valves/valvekeys, bell bow, bell, and lid. What else do I need to print?

holes are to reduce the amount of plastic used and to give some extra strength if the part is printed as mesh-filled. I'll think about the dimensions to see what can be done with the easiest way.

ok Raptor, what are your max printing dimensions?

I have the following dimension printers:
Replicator 1:
145mmx225mm plate with 145mm high
Solidoodle 2:
145mmx145mm plate with 145mm high
The Solidoodle has a smaller build area, but if you want to let Solidoodle owners print the trumpet, you can refer to those sizes.
The Replicator is my main printer and it is what i'm using to do the print.
It seems the height is about the same for the 2 printers. I also have a RepRap that is 200mmx200mm build area and similar height (haven't measured it yet) but it's not very reliable, so I don't use it much.

ok everything looks like it should work now. I will try and print the rest as soon as I can. Ill make some pics of progress sometime next week

I tried printing two more trumpet parts today. Unfortunately it was more failures.
I'm having trouble printing part "tromontaj_-Bodyup-1.STL". It's too tall for my replicator 1 and seems to fail when trying to print it sideways. It probably wasn't an issue for joelizenson as he has a tall build area on his delta printer, but for the Replicator, it can't be printed upright and I tried it sideways, but it failed when printing it even with support enabled. Would you be able to cut that piece into half so it can be joined either with glue or with a join?
Another part that I had trouble with was when I attempted to print another
valve cylinder with the X button on it. It's part "tromontaj
-1-1.STL". I found out that the reason why it was failing was because it was slightly taller than what I could print, so the printer would print to 80-90% then it can't print any higher and it sort of makes a giant blob of plastic at the top of the cylinder. This piece I might try to print lying sideways, although it would be better if it were printable vertically. Perhaps your newly made replacements which need the X part to be glued on is a good alternative for those that can't print that high.
This was the case with the Replicator 1 and with a Solidoodle 2.
I think this particular print may be easier on a tall printer like a delta printer.
I have successfully printed the trumpet bell and the part that joins to it with the finger hole. The parts didn't fit together easily. I had to try cut/sand down the joins to make it fit together.
The part that joins to the trumpet bell "tromontaj
-_bodyupfront-1.STL" printed really well when printing it vertically on the replicator with support enabled.
I've been printing everything in ABS and with 100% fill. It feels really solid and don't feel that there any holes in the surface of the prints.

Raptor I think the files you're printing are a bit older version. I've already divided the bodyup part into two after a request from Joe. The latest 2 files for that formerly one part were online for some time, but i guess you've downloaded before i've uploaded them. There are also some other changes to some of the details here and there. But nothing to worry, dimensions etc are all the same, so parts you've already printed are still usable. I've uploaded the files all together again right now, named this latest version as V001. The two part valves are also uploaded.

I was able to print the new valves with the X buttons. The new design works well for me. I noticed small holes between the lines of the X. What do I do with those.. is that supposed to be there?

The TrumpeTV01-_Bodyup-1.STL file still seems to be too tall for printing vertically for my 3d printer. Would it be possible to cut this in half? I was trying to cut it in half in netfabb, but it kept closing up the holes weirdly so the cut wouldn't work right. Would you be able to do this for me? Print this sideways gives me issues with failed prints and even it if were to succeed would put support all the way through the tubes which would be difficult to clean up.
If I can have this cut in half, then I can join it with either glue or join the ABS with acetone.

Also TrumpeTV01-_body-1.STL is also too tall as well. Looking at this one, maybe it could be printed sideways, but I'd get the same issue with the support in the tubes. Could you also cut this one in half too so I can print it vertically and glue it up?
I might also give this a try it sideways anyway as this one might work a bit better than the bodyup-1 one sideways.
Hmm after trying to print some of these tall prints, I do wish I had a taller printer. :)

Thanks for uploading the updated files. I'll give them a try and let you know how I go. :)

thats great, joelizenson encountered problems on printing the valve cylinders & buttons. could you check them before printing? I need to know what is wrong to fix it. anyway I've made a new set of valves with buttons separate from the valve bodies. I can upload it if you need. If you can print the one piece version then it is better. the new version requires gluing. The tolerances between valves and the inside wall of the valve block are real trumpet tolerances; around 0.1mm. It is more than tight for a 3d printer. I can also shave the valves a bit from sides if you like.

Okay, I'll let you know when I get to printing those parts. Currently I did try to print one valve cylinder standing up and was close to finish printing it before it fell over. Before it fell over, the X shaped buttons did get printed but ended up as a big giant blog of melted plastic. I'll have to reprint it and try again.
I'm using a Replicator 1 and it seems to show the tops of the valve cylinders fine so far and for the one I printed, it did attempt to print the top as well. I haven't tried slicing it with other slicers, but maybe it's a problem in the other slicing programs.

Just to let you know that I'm also printing this trumpet. :)
I just printed the bell and it looks great so far.

Yeah I am thinking that normal valves would work a lot nicer. The only thing is you would have to put in holes to correspond with the parts on trumpet valves so they don't move around inside. That thickness of brass pipe will probably be hard to find. I will get back to you tomorrow afternoon. My laptop is low on battery and I don't have my charger with me. Alse If we don't use trumpet valves. The 3d printed valves top dont slice properly in Cura or Repetier. They Show up in the image but dont print. I have already tried twice.

Sorry I was at a bike tour for 4 days, just came back early this morning. What kind of change do you need at the valve buttons(the + shaped pillar things :) ) ? Tell me and i'll do it for you AQAP. The inside diameter of the sleeve pipes at the slides are 11mm. outer diameter is 12. So the thickness is 0.5mm. the hole that the pipes will be inserted into the body has 12.2mm diameter to have a tight fit. Can be a bit too tight depending on the finish quality of the 3d printer. A bit enlarging by a hand drill may be necessary or the slides can be inserted for good permanently.
if you want to use normal trumpet valves, then there should be brass sleeves inthe valve block-around the valves for them to work properly. I'm planning an additional version with teflon sleeves around the valves and inside the valve cylinders as well. 3 teflon pipes with necessary holes for pipe routing can be inserted into each valve cylinder at the valve block and valves can be inserted into 3 similar (but smaller in diameter to fit into the first 3) teflon pipes. If teflon on teflon doesn'T work well, then one set of sleeves can be made of plastic or aluminum, stainless steel etc. All trial and error.

Printed body and valves. I think the tops of the valves did not slice properly because the + at the top is not there. Also the valves are Very snug in the trumpet body. I will have to do ALOT of sanding to make them slide. I may just re-print at about 95% size or so. I am printing the bell right now. What would you suggest I print next afterwards.

In fact they were one piece at the beginning, I divided them into two, then three with your request for smaller printers. They should be glued to each other permanently.
body: Bottom of the valve block, and inputs for the 3 slides.
bodyup:Top of the valve block, mouthpiece input, half of the leadpipe, pipe leading to the bell
bodyupfront: Rest of the leadpipe, finger ring and pipe just before the bell.

just printed the body. And I wanted to know what the difference between body, body up, and body upfront?

I've uploaded the latest files now. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd valve slides are modeled with sleeve pipes at this version. The pipes can either be printed (can be problematic due their wall thickness is 0.5mm) or used as plastic-brass pipes cut to the same dimensions. Using pipes with a stronger material can enable them slide more easily. I think %100 solid should work for not creating unwanted vibrations or not, we can not be sure without printing. All untested :D. The working of the valves would definitely be problematic as well. The touching edges will need to be processed somehow. The valves can be oiled by graphite dust maybe? Dont know if normal oil can melt the plastic someway or not.

So I should be able to print this now?

I'm on it, updated the design quite a bit. Will post the newest versions soon, replacing the old ones.

could You possibly take off part of the longer pipe and make it so I could glue it on?

I print on a Seemecnc orion so it is a circular printbed of about 8 inches Diameter and 9 in height.

I'm working at the industrial design department of our university as an assistant prof. and I'm just a comeback player who took the old Selmer from under the bed where it was stored for 30 years. Recently also bought a Bach prelude pocket trumpet and 3 cornets on ebay. Cornets are all on the way, impatiently waiting. Nowadays practicing everyday for fun and to play better with either the pocket or the old selmer. What are the max cubic dimensions you can print?

Also I just ran into a problem. After checking the sizes. The body is too tall for me to print. Like 20-30 mm. If you are able to adjust the body and the parts attached I could print it.

What fill density do you think I should use for PLA? And thanks. Are you a band teacher? I personally play a Bach strad. My only worry is that this is a very large and long build and will be expensive.

nice to hear that. if i can arrange some funds from the school that i work, i'll too.

I will attempt to build it

sure yes, there should be 3 springs at the below the valves.

Do the valves need springs or anything?

There are plastic trumpets around that seem to play well. This one is modeled after the dimensions of the wind pipes of a real trumpet so there is no reason for this to not produce sounds. Don't know how nice sounds, that is an unknown until someone builds this :D