3D printed bagpipes. Source: Donald Lindsay
3D printed bagpipes. Source: Donald Lindsay

Donald Lindsay, a bagpipe player since his teens, has created 3D printed bagpipes. Lindsay was interested in the structure of bagpipes and began trying to create his own Scottish Smallpipes. He started with practice chanters, pieces of miniature and toy bagpipes, and later turned to a woodturning lathe.

“I've been fortunate enough to have played the Smallpipes in a wide variety of settings, for a wide range of musicians and producers, and have often been in situations where I've wished I could just play something that's out of the range of my instrument,” Lindsay said.

“Over the years, I've often approached pipe makers to talk about my ideas for extending the range of the instrument. Instruments with keys are available to order from some craftsmen, but like many pipers, I feel that keys can bring issues of their own. I wanted to develop the Scottish Smallpipes in a way that would be sympathetic to the sound, playing style, and spirit of Scottish piping,” Lindsay explained.

In early 2013, Lindsay began learning about 3D modeling and 3D printing at a local MakLab in Glasgow. He started printing with an original Ultimaker 3D printer. By February, 2014, he was ready to 3D print a full set of Smallpipes.

3DprintUk, a 3D printing service located in London, printed out the basic design on commercial printers. However, the cost to print the bagpipes was quite expensive. Lindsay turned to Kickstarter to help fund his project.

“I'm looking to stabilize the instrument in the second register, perfect the tuning, improve the tonal color, and refine a chanter in every pitch that is practical,” Lindsay stated.

To pledge to Donald Lindsay’s project, check out his Dreaming Pipes: Developing small bagpipes using 3D printing Kickstarter page.

Listen to the 3D printed bagpipes in the video below.