Makerbot just announced the winners for their Make It Loud Challenge. The idea behind the challenge is pretty much exactly what you would expect with a name like “Make it Loud”. The goal was to design the loudest thing you could 3D print, the loudest wins.
I didn’t see this contest when it was initially announced, and to be blunt I doubt I could have beaten Joe Zisa’s Survival whistle anyway. Some people designed drums, others designed turbines, all kinds of cool stuff surfaced thanks to this contest.
I thought that it would be fun to compare Zisa’s whistle with something that people might be familiar with. I hopped on Thingiverse and found this great design for what I think of as a fairly standard whistle. I printed them both, downloaded a decibel meter app for my phone, and put them head-to-head.
Well, I’m not sure that there really was much of a difference in terms of pure decibel measurement. I can tell you that Zisa’s whistle sounded much stronger, and I attribute that to the interesting design. His whistle is actually two whistles in one body, slightly out of phase with each other so that they seem to undulate in tone. It really is effective and my ears hurt. I should have worn ear protection.