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Steam Train Whistle

by MikeP-NZ Apr 20, 2013
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Awesome! Took me 2 hours to print .2mm layer hight 25% infill on Ender 5. Works great.

It works perfectly.

Thank you. This is a great print..

so i printed this and only works if there is water inside. is there a way to fix this?

I paid very little attention to the settings you carefully listed, fired the gcode at my printer, and got a perfect whistle! I then tried the remix with the train on top and this also worked perfectly.

This all seems right.. print was perfect and yet, no sound. I'll try increasing the upper layer and setting primary layer height to 0.25. There are no obstructions or holes. Printed using a Bibo 2 Touch. Simplify 3D using PLA.. All should be OK. Shucks.

That means there's holes. As a test, try painting (acrylic paint works fine) the whistle on the bottom and/or top to see where the holes are and re-slice to get a fully sealed print. I frequently get micro-holes on the bottom of the whistle if the bed isn't exactly perfect, but painting the bottom fixes it.

Works awesome, very loud and clear sound.

In terms of octave changes is there a magic number/percentage for scaling, or is there much of a pitch change on scaling?

Very cool design. Much easier to make a sound with than some of the other whistles I've printed, and it sounds better too.

This is great! Loud. My grand kids Ma is gonna hate you (and me.) lol

Impression testée en deux tailles : à 50 % et à 75 % de l'original.
Le petit modèle sort un son un peu faible (normal). Le second est proche du sifflement d'un train pour le son, mais pas très fort pour le volume.
L'ensemble est sympa et bien solide.

I printed 5. One the regular size and 4 mini ones. All work perfectly. Thanks so much.

will this train whistle work on a monoprice select mini 3d printer

Anything you download to print should work on any printer.
So long as it fits (some models will be completely fine if you scale it down)
The size of this model is 112mm, 30mm, 14mm. (X, Y, Z)

Awesome! My son loves it, he has cerebral palsy too, and can easily blow it.
I suggest tapering the bottom of the mouthpiece (45deg) to make it a little easier to blow on.
If you could do that it would be nice, thanks!

Awesome whistle!
I made it for my daughter, she has cerebral palsy and whistling is one thing she cant easily do.
We have tried many whistles and so far this is the best, not much air pressure required.

I printed it on Zortrax m200 at .09 with med infill, then cleaned up with a knife and sanded some surfaces with 800

Perfect stocking stuffer for the boys! They'll love it, thanks!

Mine wouldn't whistle at first. I took some tweasers and forced them through each of the holes. BOOM! Train sound!

Is it possible to make it small enough that it works like a dog whistle in that you cannot hear the frequency?

What the hell? Do your dogs prefer their steam locomotive whistles in their own audible frequency then?

I made one, but it only works when I press the bottom on my palm. (:

Is there an air leak? try putting some tape on the bottom or paint the bottom with watered down PVA glue and let it dry.

Yeah. I just put a layer of hot glue on the bottom. I was using a raft. :)

I would love to have one with a ring to hung it, Im printing ir anyway :-)


Hello, this is a great design!

I'm just having a little trouble getting a good print. I have a printrbot simple metal. I'm using 1.75mm PLA. With the standard printer and slicer settings on Repetier recommended by printrbot. Should I try using support? Or without it? I was worried support would fill the chamber and I wouldn't be able to extract it. Any tips?

Just incase, it's printing with 0.1mm layer height. I scaled it down to 0.5 just to avoid the peeling I experienced with a larger version.

I may try another time, it could have just had a slip up during the print.

Thanks :)

You can't print this with support because there's no way to remove the support from inside the whistle. If peeling up is a problem try printing with a raft. Try 0.25mm layer height.
Try slowing down the print speed. and lots of cooling. If it's not making a note properly then check the hole that you blow through and the sharp edge opposite are clear of obstruction and sharp.
Scaling down will raise the pitch of the notes. It may even push them outside normal audible range.

How safe/unsafe is it to be putting ABS plastic in one's mouth? Would PLA plastic be a safer choice?

ABS and PLA are both used for things that go in your mouth frequently. Like lego blocks and disposable cutlery.
It's the colourants and additives added by the filament manufacturer that will pose a risk if anything. If this worries you seek assurances from the filament manufacturer.

But generally speaking, since ABS is petroleum based it would be the lesser of two evils to use PLA which is supposed to be corn based, correct?

Hey Mike, I'm thinking of converting this to a OpenSCAD file so I/others can customize the notes. Are there any caveats I should know when working with this model?

Nothing I can think of. If you want to change the notes proportionally you can just scale the x-dimension to make it longer.

My kids love this! Thanks!

I can't get mine to sound. Print looks air tight. Any idea of what to check for?

I've had a few that wouldn't make a note. Usually when I tried printing with some odd settings. The stream of air that you blow needs to be split by the sharp side of the hole. Probably some obstruction in the jet you blow through.or a ridge on the edge of the jet. Check your belt tension and try printing a bit slower.
You can use a coarse layer setting. I usually print at 0.25mm.

Great job Mike! Thanks.

Nice whistle, but I am having grief getting a non-porous structure. I have used up to 40% infill but still porous. I am using a prusa/mendel printer, Slic3r & Repentier to run it, I use a 0.50 nozzle and layer height of 25, and am using PLA 1.75.

Anyone have any suggestions? If I wrap whistle in tape to seal it it works great, but its not the solution.


Hi Bob, Two things spring to mind. Check your filament diameter with a digital caliper and check it matches the measurement entered in Slic3r. Or you could just override the feed-rate to 110% or more in the Repetier Host. The second thing is to switch to a smaller nozzle. 0.4mm or 0.35mm will produce much higher resolution prints. For reference I print almost everything with 0.25mm layer height and a 0.35mm nozzle and PLA.

A really cool whistle, already made two of them and now going to print a third.

Worked great! printed with 1,75mm PLA

I really like how it sounds like a train whistle. I would love to know how to design whistles and predict the sound they make ahead of time.

Printed out a small one and a large one, for the large one I needed to use a RAFT since it lifted a bit but still works fantastic! I uploaded my pic.

I tried printing it, it gave me an error in slic3r though, about it finding an hole somewhere... Bummer

I used Slic3r 0.9.9 that comes bundled with Repetier Host 0.85b and I get no error messages for either file.

I also get the same error with Slic3r 0.9.9, and get useless gcode when it tries to correct it.

Great, curious about the tone!
Do you also have a version without the text?

I guess you'll have to make one to find out what it sounds like. Did I mention it's loud?
I added the advertising free version just for you.

Thank you very much!
I'll let my children do the 'loudness' test :-)