Carbon Fiber Trumpet

What started as a cool idea at band camp turned into a full-fledged project and eventually a year-long senior project.

This project required me to develop many new skills and make other parts. I learned silicone mold making, I made a vacuum chamber with a ziplock sealing machine, and I made a PID temperature controller to precisely control a toaster oven. While I did not complete an entire trumpet, I developed many novel methods of manufacturing complex, accurate tubes out of carbon fiber.

The best method I created involved creating a piece of cast sugar in the shape and size of the interior of the tube, then using vacuum-bagged wet-layup to create the carbon fiber part around the sugar mold. After the epoxy is fully cured, the sugar is dissolved out of the tube, leaving a tube with perfect interior surface finish and dimensions.

Project Blog: