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Hi everybody, I started a new DIY project. Since I really enjoy this forum and the wisdom shared I´d like to give something back. Here I´ll share the progress of this project with you. The situation I have a matched pair of Oktava MK-012 with cardioid capsules and use them for AB / ORTF stereo field recordings. I´d like to have good wind protection for them. Because I own a 3D printer and like to design functional parts I chose to give this approach a try before buying Rycote Baby Ball Gags or something similar. If everything works out I plan on buying just the fur from Rycote. For software I used Fusion 360 and Cura which both are free for non-commercial use. The 3D model I began with modeling the Oktava MK-012 to have a reference. This was pretty easy by just taking measurements and entering them into Fusion 360. Because the capsule´s diameter is bigger than the rest of the microphone´s body I had to come up with some technique to open up the blimp for mounting and unmounting. Rycote´s twist-to-lock mechanism is great but hard to model and close to impossible to 3D print for several reasons. Moreover that I refused to have the blimp split in the middle because of the increased amount of the mechanism´s material beeing right next to the capsule and probably affecting the sound. My solution to this problem was a screw-on mechanism with 3D printed threads in the back of the blimp. I already printed threads as small as M4 so these bigger threads shouldn´t be a problem. So there´s one small part with outer threads which stays on the microphone and there´s the blimp with an opening in the back big enough for the capsule to pass through and inner threads. Here´s the complete design in it´s momentary version: The first print Getting the 3D model to be printable was a real hassle. As some of you might know, 3D printers can print overhangs up to 45 degrees. Above that I get´s complicated because your are basically printing in mid air. It all depends on the print temperature beeing not to high and cooling down the printed material as quickly as possible. After 3 failed prints and approximately 15 hours of printing time waisted I finally I was able to get my first half of the blimp. One part of the solution was to reduce the ambient temperature around the printer. Another part of the solution was to actually print faster, to reduce the chance of the filament getting too soft before entering the print nozzle resulting in a mess. I´m printing in grey PLA from the german supplier DAS FILAMENT. The print bed is a sheet of PEI glued onto a glass plate. No heated bed. Print settings: 40mm/s, 180°C. I split up the blimp in two printable parts. This first successful one took about 5 hours to print. The look and feel is amazingly similar to my full rycote blimp. It is quite strong, can be bent with force without cracking and has very good layer adhesion. And all of this at material costs of ~50ct. Coming up next: solvent welding Now the next step will be to print the other half. Then I´ll be sovlent welding both parts together using either Dichloromethane or Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Both of them are quite toxic and often times used in paint strippers. This connection will be as stong and as flexible as the main material to ensure no weak points appear when using it in more extreme conditions. Questions, opinions and suggestions appreciated! To be continued...
So, has 3d printing come to the point yet where we can design and create entire shock mounted and wind protection rigs with various multi mic configurations? I saw a thread a while back that had a person custom 3D printing various mic clips, and it seems like the next step would be to modify the designs that Rycote and Cinela put out to adapt to some more esoteric or compact designs that incorporate both wind protection AND shockmounting. I'm thinking of things like ORTF mounts for longer mics that have shock mounting built in and enough room for cables to attach internally quad rigs rigs with attachment ports for TWO mic stands that can support heavier mics collapsible rigs (rigs that fold down flat and then pop back out into boxes or other shapes) rycote ball gag competitors dual MS rigs etc. The tricky part for all of that stuff tends to be the physical construction of the cage. Once that's designed and produced, its just a matter of wrapping it in an appropriate fabric and implementing the rubber bands for the shock mount. Seems doable. right?