MIDI Foot Controller

Randy made this three switch USB powered MIDI foot controller out of InstaMorph (and a lot of other stuff). Here’s what he had to say about his project:

“The foot controller features three fast action low profile switches using only the rigid plastic shape for tension. It is super durable and I’ve been using it with computer music applications that utilize the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) communication protocol over a standard USB computer connection. I named the device “InstaMorph 3Switch” USB MIDI Foot Controller.

The electronics are handled by a Teensy Arduino microprocessor. I’ve positioned the board inside an accessible compartment between two of the switches. The compartment is molded to the shape of board itself with adequate space to prevent accidental damage from a person leaning their weight into the device.

The wire contacts are embedded into the InstaMorph in perpendicular crossings so that there only needed to be four wire leads coming from the circuit board. I used black gaffers tape to create a visual distinction between the switches to make it more obvious when using in the dark. The base of the device is lined with a thin layer of black craft foam to prevent it from sliding around on smooth surfaces.

The project came to life when I decided i wanted a low profile foot controller and realized there wasn’t an ultra compact device available on the market. The main expense aside from the InstaMorph and tools was the Teensy micro-controller.  Programming it was quite easy, as there was plenty of example code available on the internet.  This was my first Arduino project, and now I’m more interested in the platform for micro electronics and Internet of Things projects.

The molding and shaping processes proved to be quite challenging. My main tools were: non-stick skillet (for boiling/melting), teflon coated baking sheets and teflon coated pastry roller (for forming/flattening), butane powered hot air torch (for spot heating and welding), blades/knives/scissors (for detailing), and plastic wrap (for protecting surfaces and molding).

Thanks for the opportunity to share my project and thanks for making an amazing and inspiring product.  InstaMorph is hands down, my favorite creative sculpting material.  I tell people it’s analog 3D Printing!”

Ya, InstaMorph can sometimes be a challenge for making polished looking projects, but sounds like you had the tools (and the patience) to come up with something great here. It’s always good when you can create the thing you want, especially when it’s not readily available. Nice job Randy!



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