Whirligig Instruments

digitally fabricated instruments including bullroarer, bumblers and whistles

I’ve posted details about a collection of whirligig instruments I created. The instruments use generative design techniques and can be produced with digital fabrication tools: 3D printer, laser engraver/cutter, etc. The instruments are designed to make sound when spun on the end of a string. They include bullroarers, whistles and instruments I call bumblers that use vibrating rubber bands to make buzzing sound.

You can find the .stl and .svg files to cut and print your own instruments on the pages linked above. You can also find OpenSCAD .scad files so you can customize the designs to your needs.

Birds of Passage in an Egg-Shaped World

YouTube player

Here’s a video of the premiere performance of Birds of Passage in an Egg-shaped World performed by students at CalArts under the direction of Tim Feeney.

Performers: Abigail Whitman, Eliot Burk, Bar Landau, Margo Harms, Matthew LeVeque,Victor Sintchak,Alexander Reyes, Nestor Gonzalez and Tim Feeney

I created the instruments using generative design techniques. They were produced using digital fabrication: 3D printing and laser cutting/engraving. I’ll post more info about the instruments later, including OpenSCAD code to produce them yourself.

This work was supported in part by a grant from the University of Alabama Office for Research and Economic Development (ORED) lnternal Funding Small Grants Program.

Packing Up

Almost-full Suitcase

Packing gear for an upcoming project with Tim Feeney and students at CalArts.

  • 3D printed whistles? whistle stacks? whistle trees? check.
  • laser cut bullroarers? check.
  • laser cut bumblers, cross-bumblers, tri-bumblers, multi-bumblers? wax-bumbers? check.
  • rubber bands? scissors? string? swivels? sandpaper? glue? wax paper? check.
  • safety glasses? check.

Even though this looks like the start of a frivolous summer camp craft project, I expect it will result in some truly amazing sounds by week’s end!