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Piano Pedal Device

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Piano Pedal Device is designed for individuals who have difficulty using their feet to press down on the pedals as a result of decreased strength, coordination and sensory sensation. A possible solution to this issue is for the pianist to operate the pedal with the movement of his/her leg. If the pianist can push their leg outward with enough strength to be able to push the pedal down, then a simple lever device can be utilized. The device works by the pianist pushing outward on one end of the lever, while the other end pushes down on the pedal.

Technical Specifications: 

Materials Needed:
3D Printer (The user used a Stratasys professional grade printer)
ABS Filament
Support Material
Dissolving Solution
LOCTITE Epoxy Plastic Bonder (the link for Lowe's is here:http://www.lowes.com/pd_44649-69-1363118_0__)
(1) Bowl or Plate to mix the epoxy in
Several stirrers to mix the epoxy and apply it (I used plastic coffee stirrers)
Paper Towels
(1) 3 1/32 inches long, ½ inch diameter Aluminum Tube (you will have to purchase a ½ inch diameter aluminum tube and cut it to the correct length)
(2) 1 inch long, 1/8 inches diameter Tension Pins
(1) ¼ inch Bolt (I recommend a minimum of 4 inches long; I used a 5 inch long bolt)
(2) Washers
(1) Nut
Foam
Drill (with 1/8 inch bit and ¼ inch bit that can drill both plastic and metal)
Sandpaper or File

Step 1: Printing the Parts
3D Printer (The author used a Stratasys professional grade printer)
ABS Filament
Support Material
First, you need to download the .stl files listed below. If you would like, you can load them into CAD software and edit the files as you need for different sizing. Once you are ready to print, make sure the files are saved as whatever file type your 3d printer takes (.stl is common). Next, you need to print the parts. Print the parts with a high-density infill. I set the Stratasys to print high density. For 3D printers like the MakerBot, where you set the infill percentage, it is recommended trying 50% infill. Due to diminishing returns on the strength as the percent infill increases, the author suggests an infill around 50% to create a part that is strong enough. It is also recommend using a professional grade printer like the Stratasys for successful printing. Professional grade printers are more reliable and consistent than basic level printers. Also, make sure supports are turned on. Some of these parts have hollowed out areas and will need the support material to print correctly. *These parts will take a long time to print! The author reported a 24 hours period of printing to finish most of the pieces. Many pieces were loaded onto the print bed to reduce the number of times needed to restart the process.

Step 2: Preparing the Prints
For this step, you will need the following:
Dissolving Solution
Pliers, Screwdriver, etc. to remove the support material from your print when it is finished
Drill (with 1/8 inch bit and ¼ inch bit that can drill both plastic and metal)
Sandpaper or File
Now that your parts have been printed, it is time to retrieve them and remove any support material. Wait for the print bed to cool and be careful taking the parts off the print bed. Support material will be in most of the parts and will need to be removed carefully. I started by using pliers and a screwdriver to chip, pull, and pry out whatever support material that I could. Don't overdo this, as you could damage your part. It is also likely that you will need to place some of the parts in a dissolving bath to get rid of all of the support material.
Check all of the parts to see that they printed properly. If some did not, go back to the previous step and reprint them. Now, you need to prepare the prints for assembly. Check to see if the parts fit together properly (a list of the parts to be connected to one another are below). Each connection should be snug, but you shouldn't have to force it. If you find that you would have to force the parts together, sand or file the connection down so that it fits snugly. Do not force the parts together or at least one of them will break! Next, check the holes where one of the tension pins and the bolt will go. The author stated that the printer left the holes slightly too small, and a drill with a 1/8 inch bit to open up the hole for one of the tension pins was used. In addition, a drill with a ¼ inch bit was used to open up the hole for the bolt.

List of Part Connections:
Base Plate Back - Base Plate Front - Lever Pivot
Lever Arm 1 - Lever Arm 3 - Lever Arm 2
Lever Pivot Bar - Pedal Press

Step 3: Connecting the Printed Parts
For this step, you will need the following:
LOCTITE Epoxy Plastic Bonder (the link for Lowe's is here:http://www.lowes.com/pd_44649-69-1363118_0__)
(1) Bowl or Plate to mix the epoxy in
Several stirrers to mix the epoxy and apply it ( the author used plastic coffee stirrers)
Paper Towels
Before starting, read the instructions for the epoxy completely so you know exactly how to use it. It is also recommend practicing it on some scrap material, so you have an idea for how to mix and apply the epoxy before you start putting it on your parts.
Now, mix some of the epoxy in the bowl or plate and epoxy the parts together, making one connection at a time (connections are listed below). It is recommend working with the amount of epoxy needed for just one connection. Try not to mix too much or you will have a lot of excess epoxy mixture and will be rushing to use it before it dries. This can lead to mistakes and poor connections. Try applying epoxy liberally to both pieces you are connecting. After connecting the parts, wipe away the excess epoxy that has spilled out and clamp the parts together according to the instructions on the package (or hold them together with constant pressure). After connecting all the parts, allow them to sit for 24 hours so the epoxy reaches full strength.

List of Part Connections:
Base Plate Back - Base Plate Front - Lever Pivot
Lever Arm 1 - Lever Arm 3 - Lever Arm 2
Lever Pivot Bar - Pedal Press

Step 4: Preparing the Aluminum Tubing
For this step, you will need the following:
(1) 3 1/32 inches long, ½ inch diameter Aluminum Tube (you will have to purchase a ½ inch diameter aluminum tube and cut it to the correct length)
Drill (with 1/8 inch bit that can drill both plastic and metal)
It is likely that you will have to purchase ½ inch diameter aluminum tubing and then cut the tubing down to the proper size. If this is the case, measure a section of tubing to be 3 1/32 inches and cut it with a hack saw. This piece will slide into the Lever Pivot Bar first. Make sure the tubing is completely in the hole and then use a drill with a 1/8 inch bit to drill a hole through the aluminum tubing, using the pre-existing hole in the Lever Pivot Bar as a guide. Once you are done drilling, the hole in the Lever Pivot Bar and the hole in the tubing should be flush with one another, effectively being one hole through both of them. It may help to put one of the tension pins in this hole before moving on. However, only put the pin in far enough to hold the Lever Pivot Bar in position. Don't put it in all the way because you will have to remove it later. Now, you need to slide the Lever Arm onto the other end of the tubing. Again, make sure the tubing is completely inserted. Rotate the Lever Arm around the tubing so that it is at an 18-degree angle from the vertical axis (*This should be tailored to the pianist! This angle may need to be bigger or smaller depending on their size.). Use a marker to make a mark on the tubing so you know the exact orientation for the Lever Arm should be relative to the tubing. Now, remove the Lever Arm from the tubing, take the tension pin out of the Lever Pivot Bar, and remove the tubing from the Lever Pivot Bar. Next, put the tubing back into the Lever Arm, making sure they are oriented correctly (check the mark you just made!). Now, drill a hole with a 1/8 inch drill bit through both the Lever Arm and the tubing.

Step 5: Preparing the Foam Pad
The foam piece will be what the pianist pushes on with his/her leg, so this step should be tailored more toward the individual's preference. If possible, it is easiest to buy foam that is already the size you need. For the sizing of this device, the author recommends using foam that is 4 inches wide, and it can be square shaped or circular. Once the foam has been sized, push the bolt through the middle of the surface. You may want to consider screwing it on and off after the hole has been made. It will help keep the hole from getting larger and making the foam piece loose.

Step 6: Assembly
For this step, you will need the following:
(2) 1 inch long, 1/8 inch diameter Tension Pins
(1) ¼ inch Bolt (I recommend a minimum of 4 inch long; I used a 5 inch long bolt, but one that is 6 inch long may be better)
(2) Washers
(1) Nut
Hammer
Wrench
Velcro Strap
You are almost done! At this point, you should have 5 main parts: the base plate/lever pivot, the pedal press/pivot bar, the aluminum tube, the lever arm, and the foam pad. First, insert the aluminum tube into the lever arm, making sure it is oriented correctly. Take a hammer and tap the tension pin into its hole. Be careful not to damage the lever arm when doing this - tap the pin just hard enough to insert it all the way. Next, slide the aluminum tube (with the lever arm still attached) through the lever pivot, so that the tube is going into the back and through the front of the lever pivot. Now, take the pedal press/pivot bar piece and slide it onto the aluminum tube. Insert the second tension pin into this hole. Next, put one of the washers on the bolt and put it through the hole at the top of the lever arm. Then, slide the other washer on and tighten into place with the nut using a wrench. Tighten the nut until it is snug (don't over tighten). Then, screw or slide the foam pad on. For the last step, take the Velcro strap and feed it through the two holes in the base plate. This will be used to strap the pianist's foot down.

Step 7: Play On
Now, the piano device is complete and the pianist will be able to use the foot pedals! Hopefully, this device allowed them to get "Bach" to playing their favorite songs!

Available

Price Check
Price: 
0.00
as of: 
12/14/2015
Additional Pricing Notes: 
Cost of supplies and materials.
Seller(s): 
Piano Pedal Device