Bayesian Empiritheurgy

Bayesian Empiritheurgy

Team Topic - Deconstruct: Paper instruments and 3D printing

Inspired by the ingenuity displayed in South America, we decided to imitate their methods. After many experiments we finally managed it. Wheat paste and paper combined with other accessible materials to create, low cost instruments, such as violins and cellos. Low cost also doesn't hurt when you're broke.

Chat with team Bayesian Empiritheurgy


Bayesian Empiritheurgy Video:

Bayesian Empiritheurgy 2014 updates:

2013 Archive

Bill of material

Posted on: February 25, 2013

So, what did we use during this?

About 80 hours between the two of us, most of which was spent doing prototypes, reading the internet, and watching other streams. If you had a kit you could probably do it in 8 including drying time.

Some newspaper, pilfered from the bus stop.

Flour and water for the wheat paste.

A 3D printer,  and maybe 4 dollars worth of plastic.

Some picture hanging wire, pilfered from my room mate.

A drill, with a few drill bits.

A bottle of chai tea liquor.


It works, making violin sounds and everything.


Posted on: February 25, 2013

A few of the other things we got up to during while prints were finishing and mache was drying.

We worked a bit on a sterling engine. That project was mostly being done by someone else. He dropped by for half a day, and got a fare bit done. It sort of works. He also made some match very small stick powered rockets and cannons.

2013-02-24 19.37.16

We decided to make violin strings. I’ll upload the model for our jig once we’re less busy.

2013-02-24 19.39.29 2013-02-24 19.39.37 2013-02-24 19.39.49

Used a drill to twirl the wire. We can’t just put the wire straight in, or it will break. But using a zip tie seems to work.

2013-02-24 19.43.46 2013-02-24 19.44.07 2013-02-24 19.44.20 2013-02-24 19.45.25 2013-02-24 19.45.51 2013-02-24 19.46.07 2013-02-24 20.09.542013-02-24 19.51.41

Just apply a constant pressure, and it will twist itself together.

2013-02-24 19.47.042013-02-24 19.47.28 2013-02-24 19.47.45 2013-02-24 19.48.01 2013-02-24 19.48.10  2013-02-24 19.49.38

Some terrifying macro photography with our home made cell phome macro lens. It sort of works, and only costs $1.50. Just pull the focusing lens out of a laser pointer, and put it on the cellphone. This is of our strings, which actually turned out to be more usable then we thought it would be.

2013-02-24 20.01.36 2013-02-24 20.02.01 2013-02-24 20.03.04 2013-02-24 20.04.01

Our last project was a bit more dangerous. We’ve grown accustomed to keeping a fire extinguisher in easy reach, although thankfully this one didn’t go up in flames.

2013-02-24 19.36.55

We bought some new glow in the dark filament that we haven’t gotten a chance to use yet. So we had to give it a test print. This is a modified koch snowflake from sphynx on thingiverse. The goal was to make a lamp shade. The problem is that ABS melts at ~200’c. So we needed to test how hot the light bulbs got to. The internet saying ~160’c, so I was hopeful. Wrong, but hopeful.

2013-02-24 20.10.11 2013-02-24 20.10.20 2013-02-24 20.10.50

In the future, we’ll use led bulbs.

Nearly finished

Posted on: February 24, 2013

Our first step was to create the form. This time we used 3D printing, and it yielded much better results. We had to take the pretty big object and cut it into a bunch of print bed sized parts, then glue them together. You can download the geometry here if you want to print it or get it printed.


The first form was made out of cardboard, but the results weren’t very good.


The next step was to cut out a pattern for the neck. We mostly did this by eye, and I neglected to take any pictures. Still, here’s the same process done with an experiment.


Then we paper-mached it and clamped it together.



The next step was to actually make the paper mache body. We put tinfoil over the form, then just added a bunch of mache layers. The tinfoil stuck to the mache meaning the inside is all silver.



We decided to tie the two halves together, instead of just pasteing them. Honestly, next time we should just use glue. It took a long time.


The tuning pegs and bridge were both 3D printed. Tristan did a great job modeling those. I’ll be uploading the files to thingiverse after I’m done sleeping forever.

All in all, it worked. In hindsight I wish I had taken more pictures. Ohh well, it was a learning experience, and we’ll be revisiting this project in a week or two, so I can take some better pictures then.



Nearly done

Posted on: February 24, 2013

I sleep for a few hours, and it’s pretty much finished. Also there’s nobody here. Spooky.

IMG113 IMG112


We used 3D printing to do the bridge and the tuning heads. Those are the only parts that aren’t paper though. In order to do the big pieces like the neck we cut out a bunch of shapes and paper mached them together. It creates a surprisingly strong piece.

IMG111 IMG110 IMG109 IMG108


Posted on: February 24, 2013

Tristan planing the neck. If you don’t, the strings will hit against all the imperfections and create a buzzing noise.

IMG100 IMG101 IMG102 IMG103

The form finally finished, after twelve hours . Here it is with the neck attached. Of course that’s just a mold, for the actual violin we’re using 8 layers of paper mache.


Here’s the finished body. Well more or less finished, we still need to put the two halves together and shave off the excess. As of this posting they’re not dry.

IMG106 IMG107

Awakened again!

Posted on: February 23, 2013

Ok, so, I went home to sleep for a few hours. It turned out it was eight hours. Thats more then I wanted, but oh well, I’ll be awake and productive now!

It seems that while I was sleeping, Alex who is currently asleep, has printed off the rest of the mold for the violin! This is very exiting because it means that I can clean off the table and get to the real interesting part of our feed! (if you didn’t find getting a 3d printer going exiting enough, lolz) I’m going to start working on the body of the violin! I think I’ll also get a few other parts printing while I’m at it; I modeled the bridge and the pegs last night on blender.

kaloo kalay!

Posted on: February 23, 2013

Hi fellas!


Since the last post we have made a neck for the violin, and printed half of the mold for the body. It took a bit of doing to get the printr going smoothly, but it seems pretty happy now! Time to get a bit of sleep. More updates will follow when someone wakes up!

So, ABS plastic burns.

Posted on: February 23, 2013

Yeah, don’t hold it too close to an open flame.

We’re running out of plastic on a several hour print, so we need to melt the end of one roll of plastic to the beginning of another, so we don’t get any interruption of the print. I held it too close to the flame, and well, it caught on fire.


But the technique is a success. No ruining a two hour print because we didn’t switch out filament early enough.


Posted on: February 23, 2013


Ok, this is Tristan checking in. Gunna give ya a bit of a picture show!



This is The prototype I built.




Heres a bit of our space, you can see our printr on the desk there. We are trying to use it to print off a mold for the body of the violin that Alex made on opencad.


Heres our cam, looking down on the printr. Also we’ve been watching the deconstruction main feed.



Heres the print bed. Now right side up!



And heres a display of alex’s random and useful knowledge; we built a rheostat.


Broken thermistor and other troubles

Posted on: February 23, 2013

So the first problem of the evening, my flatmate accidentally snapped the termistor on the heated bed of our 3D printer. I thought I could just measure the temperature manually, but it turns out the printer won’t power the bed at all unless it’s getting a value for that thermistor. Not having any appropriate resistors on hand and not having the time to dig through the firmware, we had to improvise. The solution was something called a liquid rheostat. Basically, you put both leads in water and slowly add salt. The more salt you add the lower the resistance. That gave us a fake resistance value and fixed the bed.


Someone also put the bed on backwards. That was a lot easier to figure out.