The Arduino xylophone is being built in our Build a Musical Instrument Summer Camp for Kids at IDIYA, New Orleans which started today and continues through the summer. Gus, a student at Lusher Charter School, attended our class and began work on his awesome project.
Gus’ xylophone is constructed from 1/8″ birch plywood cut with IDIYA’s laser cutter. It took 4-6 passes with the laser to cut cleanly through the plywood creating the xylophone’s frame pieces and keys. Gus laser engraved each key with the note that will be played when it is stuck with the mallet. The wooden keys do not produce the sound when struck. Instead a piezo sensor under the key detects impact from the mallet, sends an electric signal to the Arduino which then generates a square wave signal to the attached speaker. Initially, this electronically generated sound will be a bit harsh so plans include adding a serial data output to the Arduino to connect to a PC via USB allowing better sound generation, light control and more. See video and more of Gus’ awesome project here
Laser cut Arduino xylophone features:
- 6 laser cut wooden keys with piezo buzzers working as impact sensors
- Plywood xylophone frame & keys laser cut and etched
- Process: Mallet impact –> piezo buzzer detects & sends signal to Arduino –> Arduino generates sound output to attached speaker
Henry, our new intern and Jenna, IDIYA’s Arduino instructor are building a modified version of the Arduino xylophone using Adafruit sensors and aluminum foil covered keys instead of piezo buzzers. More to come on that. Henry’s xylophone also features an all laser cut cardboard frame, arduino and speaker.
Henry, is a junior at Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy a Greater New Orleans area school
Providing enriched instruction in mathematics, science, and technology.
Gus and Henry both used the free license of Autodesk Fusion 360 provided with IDIYA membership to model and manage the laser cut elements of their xylophones.
IDIYA is focused on summer camp classes for students through July. Starting in August, Arduino classes for all ages (adults welcome) will resume.