Zeppelin On The Fisher Price Record Player Now Thanks To A 3D Printer

[Fred Murphy] went ahead and revised his method of making custom records for a Fisher Price toy record player. He’s now able to 3D print the discs. The toy works much like a music box, with a comb in the “cartridge” of the record player and notches in the record that pluck the fingers of the comb as it turns. He had previously developed a subtractive method that let him mill records out of a solid piece of plastic. But this additive method means less waste.

The music creation portion of the project is the same as the previous version. That’s because it’s pretty hard to outdo the C# software he wrote which serves as a composition studio. The difficulty comes in getting a clean print for the disk. The ridges on the discs are 0.7mm so you’re going to need a well-aligned printer with fine resolution. [Fred] printed in both ABS and what he calls “Vero clear” plastic. The former works but he got better results with the latter.

13 thoughts on “Zeppelin On The Fisher Price Record Player Now Thanks To A 3D Printer

    1. It is indeed. I’ve not got a 3D printer yet, but Noah at Instructables printed a couple of discs on their Objet printer and swapped them for a record player.

      Someone else has printed a disc on a Makerbot Replicator and it’s almost there on playability but not quite.

      1. Hi. Nice to appear on Hackaday again. I’d promised to create a 3D printed version if I won a printer in the Instructables competition so I did. (I’ve not actually received the printer yet, which is why my printed versions came from a commercial printer.)

        The tl;dr version for busy HaD readers… My code works out where the pins need to go. It now creates an OpenSCAD script in addition to gcode for milling. OpenSCAD turns this into the STL file for printing.

        I’m now getting a little bored of Stairway to Heaven. If any HaD readers want to fire up the editing software and can create something recognizable, I’ll happily CNC mill a disc and mail it to you.

  1. Note that this only works with older Fisher Price record players. Newer players cheat: the music is actually stored in a chip inside the device, the spinning disc only chooses which of the stored tunes to play.

    The newer devices are even more indestructible than the old ones, so perhaps they’re better for giving to toddlers, but it is disappointing to see such a nice piece of engineering get replaced by a cheap computer chip.

    1. I’ve seen the ones you mention, but didn’t know Fisher Price had gone down that route. What a massive ripoff! The original was ingenious in it’s design, a radial (right?!) version of the ancient clockwork axial music boxes. And the little pointed wheels that transfer the force from the little bumps to the “fingers” on the “harp”.

      I thought the electronic ones were just the Chinese knockoffs, seen them as Minidisc / CD player type things. Shame on Fisher Price!

      Still, the originals were indestructible enough, scan in the artwork from the stickers, re-print them, and they should be good as new til the end of time. Toys for babies are made tough!

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