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automated creativity! engineering new instruments using optimization algorithms
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Optimizing Bell Plates

This code provides utilities for optimizing the shape of a plate bell based on its desired overtones using the CalcuLiX FEM library. It's far from polished, but I'm leaving it as is unless anybody takes a particular interest in it.

###Requirements Besides the standard Python scientific libraries, this package requires the CalculiX FEM library and pyaudio if you want to preview the sounds of the bells. I've tested it on cgx 2.9, but it should work with 2.10 as well.



Contains tools for drawing the outlines of the bells and writing them to .dxf format when ready to send to a waterjet cutter.


Uses scipy.fmin to find an optimal bell shape (basinopping is broken at the moment). The body of the code is one example of how to generate shapes - tweak it for your particular purpose. ####stats When run, if stats sees a pickled file called vals.p in the working directory it'll show the development of the shape over time ####sounds Allows stats to play the sound of the bell at each iteration.


Right now the code is set up to simulate 6061 aluminum plates, so if you want to use some other material you'll have to change the inptext file in xy_interpolation. Choose a list of target overtones (in Hz) and a thickness of plate (in mm), then use Bell(target, thickness).optimize.findOptimumCurve() to generate a bell which makes that shape. If you want better accuracy, it's a good idea to use the optpts from that result as a starting condition c0 with grade set to 'fine', which will just continue the simulation with a higher mesh density. Finally, use pts_to_dxf(bell.optpts) to generate a .dxf file that outputs the curve to vector format so that a machine shop can cut it out for you.

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