The WCW Process
Our Manufacturing Process:
The design of a Windy City Woodwinds mouthpiece begins with the creation of a digital file using Computer Automated Design (CAD) software. In this process, every aspect of the mouthpiece is designed with the highest attention to detail before being sent to one of our printers.
Windy City Woodwinds produces all of its products through Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), an additive manufacturing technique more colloquially known as 3D-Printing.
FDM involves a printer that extrudes molten plastic material through a nozzle. The model is built up in hundreds of layers, each less than .005in (.13mm) in height. These tolerances mean that the precision achieved through our FDM printers rivals that of commercial CNC or hand milling manufacturing processes.
The Importance of Hand Finishing
WCW recognizes that quality mouthpieces can only be achieved through high precision manufacturing and delicate hand finishing processes.
Our Finishing Process:
Through many cycles of research and experimentation, WCW has optimized the precision and capability of their additive manufacturing technologies, allowing mouthpieces to be produced with high dimensional accuracy. However, as with all additive manufacturing processes, a slight texture on the surface on the mouthpiece still remains. Without post-processing, this surface texture prevents reeds from forming a proper seal on the mouthpiece.
Windy City Woodwinds takes numerous quality assurance steps to ensure each mouthpiece is properly faced so they meet our highly selective quality tolerances. It is critical that mouthpieces are finished with a smooth, flat table, as well as tip and side rails that are consistent and smooth in order to produce an adequate seal. A mouthpiece that forms a seal with a reed allows for more immediate response, ease of articulation, and more focus and clarity in its tone.