3D Printing and Music – A love Song

3D printing is giving musical instrument makers around the world the means to not only recreate traditional and even ancient instruments, but to develop entirely new music instruments with unprecedented sounds.

Music

One of the most recent technologies to generate a huge buzz is without a doubt, 3D printing, enabling new opportunities for a wide range of industries. This is also true for the music industry, especially for instrument making. With the use of 3D printing technologies and techniques, the industry ist not only able to recreate ancient and traditional instruments, but also to create completely new instruments that the world has never seen before. So let’s go on a journey together and see why 3D printing and music are a perfect match in many different ways. 

Ancient and Traditional Instruments

3D printing is already helping very successfully in other archaeological fields, for example it supports the aim of rebuilding Notre Dame or serves as a new method in museums to work with their objects. But in these cases, the technology generally uses pieces and items that are still physically present, at least in parts.

As, however, there are mostly only archaeological pieces or pictures from ancient instruments left, it’s very hard to reconstruct them. With modern 3D modelling software and printing technology it’s way easier to recreate such a piece and learn to understand its construction. 

The situation with traditional instruments is that their production is time-consuming and often very expensive. With 3D printing, creating traditional instruments becomes not only less costly in general, but also customisations are easier and cheaper to realise. Pioneers in this field like VLNLAB, Olaf Diegel and Syos, already have very good experience with the new technology and have been able to create instruments that were not only equal to, but even better than their common counterparts.

Moreover, these days, many blueprints are already available online in 3D printing collections like Thingiverse and Cults 3D. Through this open source data, anyone with a 3D printer can start making their own instrument. 

3D Printing New Instruments Unlocks New Sounds

Although the music industry has always been very innovative when it comes to creating new sounds and thus new music instruments, there hasn’t been that many innovation since the electric era. Nowadays, music is often created via software with digital sounds. But with the possibilities of 3D printing, there is a wide range of new chances to build never-seen-before instruments. 

A very good example is the Hornucopian Dronepipe, a unique horn by MONAD Studio, looking like it’s straight out of the Mad Max movie. One fan described the sound like something between a didgeridoo and an alien invasion. 

And finally, one more very important point: 3D printing allows not just aesthetic changes, but also better mastery of the sound and craftsmanship of the instruments. It’s a significant contribution to the industry’s flexibility in customisation. 

Do you know of any other cool innovative 3D printing projects we should feature on the blog? We are looking forward to your suggestions.