Personal 3D Printers – Safeguarding our past, present and future

When Malcolm Messiter set about restoring his beautiful Robert Goble Harpsichord, he hit upon a snag. The string playing mechanism in the harpsichord is made up of 183 Delrin Jacks, each fitted with a plectrum that plucks the string when a key is played. These jacks had deteriorated over time, many of them were cracked and needed replacement. After some research, he discovered that these particular Jacks were no longer made and Delrin replacements were simply unobtainable.

The classic Harpsichord made by Richard Goble

Malcolm, faced with the prospect of having 183 Jacks custom made out of wood at considerable expense, contacted us at RepRap Central and asked whether it would be possible to make replacement jacks with one of our Personal 3D Printers. After some discussion, we decided it was a project for the MakerBot Replicator and Malcolm set about modelling the replacement jacks.

Within hours of the MakerBot Replicator arriving, Malcolm was in full production mode, 3D printing Harpsichord Jacks out of ABS plastic used by the 3D Printer. In fact, he was so delighted with the results that he felt the Replicator Jacks were an improvement on the originals!

183 custom made harpsichord jacks would have cost around £2000. With the Replicator priced at £1749 and £20 in total for material costs, Malcolm’s already in profit and is now equipped with the very latest in Personal 3D Printers, the MakerBot Replicator.

The Harpsichord Jacks produced on the MakerBot Replicator

The first of the MakerBot Harpsichord Jacks in situ (top right)

Malcolms hands free tuner attachment produced on the Replicator. Want your own MakerBot Replicator? Visit our Online Store

Yet another example of how incredibly versatile these new personal 3D printers are.

They’ll not only change our future, they’ll help preserve our past too!

The Harpsichord in action with an integrated Midi player

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