This is the coolest thing in the world right now.
Remember those Fisher Price record players that pumped out jams like Mary Had A Little Lamb and, I dunno, the theme from Babar? They’re back, and ready for MakerBotting!
Instructables author fred27 has published a nice set of steps for producing custom records for these machines on a CNC mill. There is also an app for generating the music. It looks fairly simple, just drop in notes.
Here’s the thing: this was all done on a mill, but as Gizmodo points out, this is prime territory for a 3D printer like a MakerBot. Of course, longtime MakerBot community members will remember some of the serious research we have already done into 3D printable vinyl…
I read through the Instructable and noticed this bit of caution:
we will end up creating plastic pins around 1mm in size that trigger the music box hidden in the record player’s arm. I was worried about whether the extruded plastic technique used by most printers would give it the required strength.
Looking at the picture above, I feel confident a MakerBot could make these nubs more than strong enough to resist the music box mechanism. I’d suggest making this with higher infill settings to be sure.
But how to MakerBot this?
The gcode for milling these suckers is available from fred27, and the process would need to be converted. The Instructable provides the design file for the blank disc itself, but in order to be used with a MakerBot, you’d need the entire model with the music added in.
Fred27 says that in order to mill the disc at one time, you should use the gcode file marked “…(Full).nc”.
Aha! Maybe that’s the answer. If that gcode for the entire record, musical nubs included, can be converted back into a model, then that model can be sliced to provide appropriate instructions for the MakerBot.
This is the perfect opportunity to put a modern spin on an old toy, and Fred plans to submit it to the Make It Real Challenge.
So what tunes do you remember from these records, and which custom tunes would you make?