Nowadays 3D printing technology has allowed humanities scholars and cultural materials conservators to create replicas of indigenous musical instruments, with which they can perform various studies. However, the size of the 3D printed objects are limited by the size and the range of movements of the 3D printer. Hence, large musical instruments have to be fabricated in parts and then carefully assembled prior to playing. Here we investigate the yidaki, a large pipe-like indigenous Australian wind instrument that is played by vibrating the lips while breathing circularly on the mouthpiece. Traditionally, a yidaki is made from the trunk of hardwoods hollowed by termites. We scanned the internal and external shape of a traditionally-made yidaki, built a digital model from the scanning data, printed the model in several parts, and assembled the parts into a replica yidaki. This replica was printed using sintered nylon and assembled using a two-part epoxy. Both the original and the replica yidakis have been played and characterized. While the replica is able to reproduce the fundamental frequency of the original, it lacks the overtone frequencies, which may be due to the limited resolution of the internal shape measurement of the yidaki.

This content is only available via PDF.