Using 3D Print Technology to make Bagpipes

Using 3D print technology to design and manufacture musical instruments could rival traditional methods. We caught up with Donald Lindsey to get an update on his project.

As the 3D revolution takes hold we see more and more applications of 3D print technology in everyday use and the musical instrument design and building process is no different. Prior to speaking with Donald, I believed there would be fierce resistance within the piping community to this new and innovative manufacturing process. However, Donald has expressed there is great support and encouragement from his fellow pipers and much progression since we spoke to Donald back in 2015. This interview can be found HERE.

As a keen musician, Donald has taken his passion for piping to another level designing and experimenting with his own chanter designs. He realized the potential of 3D print technology back in 2013 and became a member of the MAKlabs in Glasgow. This gave him access to an Ultimaker 3D printer and the means to start prototyping his own designs one iteration at a time.

After much reassurance Donald decided to run a crowd funding campaign, which would allow him to purchase his own 3D printer and take the chanter project to the next level. After much interest, from piping communities right across the globe, Donald successfully raised £5,500. The crowd funding campaign not only made funds available for the project but also developed a strong interest from the piping community.

The piping community worldwide is very collaborative and this motivated Donald to push his designs to the limit, and progress to developing something that everyone would enjoy. Donald developed the Lyndsey system chanter as seen below.


This colourful and eye-catching design was not only manufactured using a 3D print technology but this unique and alternative method has increased the musical range of the instrument, something which was not thought possible.

The capabilities of 3D print technology have allowed Donald to experiment with geometries and shapes that would have been impossible to manufacture any other way. The strong properties of creating models with 100% infill allowed for durable and sturdy designs. Donald tested the strength of his print by throwing them out his attic window on the hard concrete. He then played a tune to see if they work, which they did -  with flying colours! (No pun intended). Early on in the project 3D print works sold Donald one of his first Ultimaker 3D printers and supplied him with the filament. The filaments we provided can be found on our website shop.


Speaking with Donald was extremely interesting and as a fellow Scot I have a soft spot for the chanter and bagpipes. I recall my younger years attempting to learn this instrument, however my focus regretfully deviated to other things. In hindsight I would love to have the skills to play the bagpipes and would encourage any youngsters of today to persevere with this magical instrument.

3D print technology not only gives an alternative method for manufacturing but can increase the musical range. This property is very exciting for musical instruments and designs in general.

Donald has just launched his second Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an album to be recorded on the Lindsey System Chanter. This crowd fund will also give backers the opportunity to get their hands on their very own 3D printed Chanter.  

If you would like to help fund this exciting project, the link can be found HERE. To coincide with his crowd fund Donald has also released a new video showing what can be achieved with this fascinating instrument. Check it out HERE