2 July 2018

3D-Printed (Baby) Drum Pedal

I really enjoy making things with my 3D printer, and normally my projects involve electronics too.
This was a bit different, but it's a good example of something you can design/print over a weekend.

My little nephew loves playing his toy drums, but the set that he used to have, was missing the bass pedal.
It wasn't worth buying a replacement since he'd outgrow this drum kit soon, instead I'd try to make him one...

I searched all the usual places for models that might be suitable, but didn't come up with much.

But I did find this model by Sean Geaney, and based the mechanics of my baby pedal on his design.

I do most of my modelling in Fusion 360 and this time, tried out a feature I'd never used before... Joints.
I set up my components so I could check for collisions between parts before printing everything out.

... looks ok
The pedal works by linking the footboard with an axle that swings a drumstick around when you step on it. Elastic bands tension the axle so when you lift your foot off the pedal, it rotates back into it's original position.

Printing and Assembly

I wanted the colour scheme to match the red and black of his drums. I designed the bottom section to be printed in one piece, but made it so that by changing the filament at a certain position I could get a two-tone effect.

The pins and axles are in yellow for contrast, and the drum beater had a red/black filament change too.

To strengthen the axle and drumstick, I made a hollow for a 2mm steel rod. The hole was a bit too tight though, so I used a 1.5mm rod for the axle and had to persuade the 2mm rod into the drumstick with a hammer :)

The stick holder and elastic band anchor are adjustable. I installed heat-set threaded inserts so an M3 screw can be used to adjust the angle of the drumstick and the elastic hook in order to set the proper pedal height.

I used a pair of 15mm o-rings for the elastic band. I already had these in my parts bin and they were an ideal size/tension. Pretty much any elastic band would work fine though, it doesn't need much force to reset.

To finish it off, I stuck some black felt on the drum beater and some velcro to the base to stop it sliding around.


I was pretty happy with how it turned out, especially the colours, and my nephew seemed to like it.
On reflection, the axle arrangement could be simplified. I used a hexagonal section to mount the pedal linkage, this meant the axle had to be made in two pieces.

I did this because I thought that link needed to be robust, and it is. My little nephew could jump up and down on the pedal and it'd hold firm.

But I could've probably just used a screw to secure the linkage like I did with the drum stick holder. Then I could have a round axle that would slide all the way through for simplicity.

Nevertheless this was a neat little project, it helped me learn some new Fusion 360 features and I ended up with a cool gift for my nephew... Here he is playing with his new, bigger kit :)

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