3D Printed Musical Instruments: Transforming the Musical World One Tune at a Time

Music is one of the most oldest art forms in the history of human race. Not only that, it is an art form comprised of several art forms — composing, performing music, and even making musical instruments. They can be very traditional. Just consider how a master craftsman would build a violin, the crafting technique has not changed for hundreds of years.

But thanks to 3D printing technology, this will all change. New materials such as carbon fiber and aramid are slowly finding their way into the hands of musicians. But since most instruments have a history of being built with wood, most musicians are hesitant to buy the same instrument made of new ‘space age’ materials, afraid the sound of those instruments will be ‘plastic’ or ‘sterile’. This in turn causes the fact that there are few musical instrument manufacturers willing to experiment with new materials.

At first look, who would have thought that this is a violin? With 3D printing, musical instruments can have a unique and futuristic look that are equally pleasing to to hear and look at. (Image source: MONAD studio)

So how will 3D printing technology transform music?

Thanks to 3D printing technology, makers of musical instruments can now replace expensive wood and ivory with PLA and ABS, thus allowing more people to afford musical instruments. Makers can even print the bodies of the instruments themselves. Therefore, wind instruments, string instruments, and noisemakers of all sorts can be easier to 3D print.

With 3D printing, both musicians and music lovers can surely play and experience music in a whole new level.

You can even go online and print your very own custom made 3D printed guitar! Traditionally, acoustic guitars are built of wood from special trees like mahogany, maple, rosewood, alder, and ash. But this concept totally changed with the advent of electric guitars. With 3D printing technology again being a game changer for that industry, demands for a 3D printed guitar are mushrooming like crazy among rock music enthusiasts.

Video source: Entrepreneur

Not only that but 3D printing technology has also allowed creativity to flow unhindered in making musical instruments, creating such new concepts such as Experimental instruments and Enhanced instruments.

So, what is the difference between the two?

Experimental Instruments are 3D printed musical instruments that do not have a traditional equivalent. These can be anything from a futuristic 3D printed violin to a Hornucorpian Dreampipe.

A Hornucopian Dreampipe (Image source: MONAD studio)

Enhanced Instruments, on the other hand, are traditional musical instruments that receive additional benefits to their musical and structural qualities thanks to 3D printing technology. Examples of these enhancements can be as small as a 3D printed mouthpiece on a trumpet to a 3D printed guitar.

Aside from allowing people to design and print custom instruments, 3D printing technology also gives musicians the ability to personally manufacture replacement parts and accessories for older instruments.

The advantages of being able to manufacture using 3D printing technology is not limited to music. It is arguably one of the most valuable applications that 3D printing technology has to offer in general. But the way it is changing the way that people experience music is very exciting and it will be very interesting to see just how this technology will transform music. Surely, 3D printing will continue to progress into our daily lives.

About 3D2Go:

3D2Go is the only one-stop shop for everything 3D printing in the Philippines. The company offers end-to-end full-service scanning, prototyping, and printing with a streamlined process that guarantees a top quality end product.

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