Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On October 11th 2021, the Iowa State Daily newspaper spoke of Iowa State University graduate student Jack Evans, who had designed a 3D printed instrument clamp for holding university marching band members’ phones, which was intended to make it easier to read music on the field as they learnt for shows. (Evans is majoring in mechanical engineering and administrative business; he also plays sousaphone in the band.) In summer 2021, band director Christian Carichner contacted Evans for assistance on a project to help the band use less paper.

Subsequently, Evans came up with a 3D printed phone clamp that would attach to the instrument’s lyre. (Here, the word lyre refers to a clip on the instrument to hold the player’s music.) He made circa 250 clamps over a total of 1,200 machine hours, such that every band member received one for free at the start of the season. Other examples of 3D printing’s use with musical instruments involve Duke University (Duke) of Durham, North Carolina and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

In January 2021, Duke spoke of a project by physics professor Matthew Busch to make a digital archive of 3D printable vintage saxophone mouthpiece replicas. At the time, Duke argued that vintage saxophone mouthpieces were becoming increasingly rare and that even the best modern reproductions can’t properly replicate the originals’ sound. For another part of the project, fellow Duke physicist Josh Socolar wrote a computer program to enable him to analyse how individual parts of a saxophone mouthpiece’s geometry contribute to the sound it makes.

In addition, fellow team member Gia Jadick recorded musicians experimenting with the vintage originals and their 3D printed replicas, investigating potential correlations between their shape and sound. (Jadick was also a student in Socolar’s physics of music course.) She also asked some musician friends to rate each mouthpiece on qualities like tonal brightness and ease of tuning.

In October 2018, the Ottawa Business Journal spoke of entrepreneur Laurent Lacombe of Quebec developing 8 3D printed string instruments for a then upcoming performance by the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. To design the instruments, Lacombe made a 2D rendering of violin maker Charline Dequincey’s original violin, with whom Lacombe was collaborating on the project.

The 2D rendering was converted into a 3D model via a process called segmentation, which is common in designing custom-made medical implants. Dequincey would give regular feedback during the design process to ensure that the best compromise between the instrument’s weight, design and sound could be achieve. This included modifying the 3D printed violin’s body to avoid weighing down the players’ arms, as a plastic instrument would be significantly heavier than a wooden one.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Band marching to Miami-Ohio Wesleyan football game 1921 (3191594474)” (as it is known on Wikimedia Commons) was taken from Flickr’s The Commons and has no known copyright restrictions.