I have another - somewhat amazingly - successful Weird Musical Project to share!
This time, I took a Fisher Price record player - a toy I had as a kid, from the late 70s, early 80s, which some genius realised would be amenable to modern hacking.
You can find the instructions I followed here:
The process wasn't actually very complex from my end! I downloaded the software which allows you to compose a short piece, then exported some intermediate geometry files in .SCAD format, which you then open in OpenScad and export an STL file that your (or in my case, my friend's) 3d printer will accept.
With a bit of luck and magic (and a very accommodating friend who understands that I'm slightly insane but wants to help), you end up with a brand new plastic 'record' which just about plays on the Fisher Price deck!
In our case, the central hole was just too narrow for the disc to seat properly, so I popped a little bluetack on the two orientation/locking pins on the turntable, and it seemed the slight additional elevation of the disc against the musicbox head actually helped it connect and play.
My unit's clockwork has a really loud ticking sound to it, and I've read you can improve / fix these by taking the unit apart and blowing dust / applying WD40, which I plan to do, but given this might wreck the unit, I took recordings first, before doing something that would blow the whole project. Because, hey: it actually played!
Very pleased with the results, no matter how imperfect.
(in fact, because they're so imperfect, therein lies some beauty)
Never in the world did I imagine I might be able to write my own disc for this player that was such an iconic part of my childhood. We truly live in an age of magic 😀
I'm happy to have a new entry for my ongoing music challenge on FAWM 2019, and my next steps will be to clean the ticking of the clockwork using audio tools and post it on FAWM, then later, I will have the box apart and try to give the clockwork some TLC to see if it's reparable.
If not, either I'll call it a day with this project or see if I can get another unit affordably enough that doesn't have such poor clockwork, but I got what I wanted out of this whole idea, and am really pleased with the result 😀
Thanks to Bryan for the 3d print and my ever-tolerant Kirstine for being sound-recordist, helpful lap-to-put-things-on and for donating her phone (with its better camera than mine) yet again for my latest ridiculous efforts.