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3D Printable Pipe Instruments

MIT Media Lab Prints a Functional Flute Using a 3D Printer

— January 27, 2011 — Tech
Researchers from MIT Media Lab have used a 3D printer to create a completely intact composite of a working flute.

The MIT Media Lab project is a landmark achievement because creating woodwind instruments is a delicately intricate process and the experiment is an enormous testament to how far 3D printers have come. The amazing thing is, however, that the flute actually sounds and functions like a real one made from metal. In order to put the finished product to the test, the MIT Media Team had a professional flutist test the model’s accuracy. And while although it proved surprisingly accurate, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Nevertheless, the process and its results are a tremendously positive step forward for 3D printing technology.
Trend Themes
1. 3D Printed Instruments - The trend of 3D printed instruments presents opportunities in disrupting the manufacturing processes and supply chains of traditional instrument-making industries.
2. Composite Instrument Printing - The trend of composite instrument printing presents opportunities for innovation in creating lightweight and durable instruments that offer new sonic possibilities.
3. Functional 3D Printing - The trend of functional 3D printing presents opportunities for developing new and innovative products that are fully operational and functional upon printing.
Industry Implications
1. Musical Instruments - The musical instrument industry could benefit from disruptive innovation by incorporating 3D printing technology to create faster product prototyping and more affordable production processes.
2. Manufacturing - The manufacturing industry could benefit from incorporating 3D printing technology to optimize production and reduce costs for creating composite materials.
3. 3D Printing - The 3D printing industry could benefit from focusing on functional printing of complex instruments and materials as a way to expand their applications and offerings.
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