Xylophone Player

December 21, 2015 | 4:16 pm

Project team: Austin Chen, William Xu

Course: Computational Design & Fabrication, fall 2015
XyloPlayerCloseAs part of Computational Design & Fabrication, Austin Chen and William Xu designed a xylophone player. In arriving at this project, the team had explored various designs of automatic instruments and players and aimed to see if they could come up with something that was easy to fabricate with cheap materials and could be computationally generated from a simple digital music input, MIDI.

After some brainstorming, the team chose to create a table-top sized wooden xylophone player, with a cylindrical hub that rotates to lift the hammers that would play the xylophone. The wooden slats that would be fitted on the hub were generated programmatically in Python, using Mido (a popular MIDI library) to parse the MIDI input, and Digifab (the course’s design and fabrication library) to construct the slats with as little wasted material as possible.

Want more information on the xylophone player and its designers? Check out:

Xylophone player demo on YouTube

Project write-up

Topics: Computational design, Laser cutting, Music