10 Mind-Blowing 3D Printed Musical Instruments
Check out these 10 mind-blowing 3D printed musical instruments that will absolutely take your breath away.
The U.S. spends nearly $2 billion on musical instruments every year.
Playing music has always been a popular thing to do. But, musical instruments don't come cheap.
All that might be about to change. Now, 3D printing is enabling people to design and build their own products at home. And that includes building your own musical instruments completely from scratch.
So read on as we take a look at 10 awesome 3D printed musical instruments.
What is 3D Printing?
3D printers build up solid three dimensional shapes by putting down thin slices of plastic one layer at a time.
As these layers build up, they grow to form the completed project. As a result, 3D printing has revolutionized product design in fields as varied as toy-making and pharmaceuticals. As such, it has also allowed us to build anything we want at home, from smartphone cases to containers to store our Canadian pharmacy meds.
But most importantly, it has let us build our own musical instruments.
1. Electric Guitar
You can spend several hundred dollars on a decent electric guitar. The top of the range guitars will set you back thousands.
But, it is now possible to build your own guitar with the help of a 3D printer. Or at least, to build the body. You will still need a wooden neck and headstock to hold the strings and fretboard. But thanks to 3D printing, the design of the body is pretty much down to your imagination.There are already some great designs out there, including flying V's and more. Some people have even designed their own hollow bodies for 3D printed acoustic guitars.
Most recorders look exactly the same, so it isn't always seen as the coolest of instruments. But now thanks 3D printing technology you can your own personalized recorder to whatever design you want. If you're looking to learn an instrument for the first time, the recorder is an ideal choice.
The beauty of the 3D recorder is that's it pretty simple to print and assemble. So, this is a musical instrument that someone new to 3D printing could still make.
If you're of a certain age, the word ocarina will evoke only one thing: those blissful hours spent playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64.
In the game, you had a magical ocarina. Playing different tunes on it would have different effects, such as summoning your horse. And now you can finally play your own real ocarina thanks to the magic of 3D printing. It's another instrument that's pretty easy to learn to play too.
Now you can learn Epona's song for real.
And whilst the instrument is not quite as popular as it used to be (probably Kenny G's fault) it is still a great instrument to play. If you've ever seen a saxophone, you'll know that it has a seriously complex system of levels and buttons used to play it. So you might think that this is one that is beyond the realms of 3D printing.
But you'd be wrong. Some very clever people have successfully built a 3D printed sax that sounds pretty good. It's probably beyond everyone except the most skilled, though.
Another popular instrument for beginners is the violin. Why this is the case remains a mystery: it's actually one of the easiest instruments to play out of tune.
As with the electric guitar, to make a workable violin you're still going to need a wooden neck and head to hold the strings and playing surface. But you can 3D print the body to your heart's content.
The easiest option is to go for an electric violin with pickups, meaning you don't need to make a hollow body. But if you want a truly acoustic violin, then there are hollow body designs out there.
Small, lightweight and only using four strings, the uke is even easier to learn to play than the guitar. The smaller size and looser strings mean that you don't need a solid wooden neck. So you can make the whole 3D printed uke on your printer at home.
Some might say this shouldn't count as a musical instrument, but we beg to differ.
An instrument where all you need to know to be able to play it is how to hum? Where do we sign up? And this is another project that's easy for anyone to print at home. All you'll need to add is the paper reed.
Are you sick of your in-ear headphones not having quite the right fit? Well, those days are over. Take a 3D scan of your ears with a smartphone app, plug the data in your 3D printer and bingo. In-ear headphones that are the exact shape of your own ears.
Vinyl is making a huge revival these days. So how cool would it be to be able to press your own?
Well, now you can. Some clever people have worked out how to turn an audio file into a 3D model. You can then 3D print that model to create your own vinyl record.
Aside from the fact that it's not actually made of vinyl.
10. Sheet Music
Using a 3D printer, it's possible to turn sheet music into a 3D model. The musical notes and stave actually stand out from the page. Not only does this look cool as all hell, but also makes the
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