3D printing is making its mark steadily and this time it took a step into another field, that is the music industry. In the past, we witnessed 3D-printed musical instruments such as Violin from Monad Studios. In the latest development, a research group based in the University of Wollongong, Australia have come up with one of a kind 3D printed flute, which is capable of hitting highest notes that are otherwise not possible for a normal wooden flute.

Going by the outlook, it resembles a traditional flute more than an orchestral one. The 3D flute functions on a microtonal scale and uses tuning rations that is different from the scale utilized by an authentic wooden flute. The microtonal scale enables the 3D flute to hit different types of pitches and harmonies.

In accordance with Dr. Terumi Narushima, who is the head of the research project, she says, “It’s about challenging the status quo of the music industry – looking at what kind of new music and new instruments we can create.”

The 3D flute was crafted by utilizing mathematical models for determining the measurement and placing of the holes, that is required to create each sound. Researchers tested the accuracy of the 3D flute by putting it to test in an echo-free room, where they played it and judged the notes. Researchers are keen to take this technology forward and to take create custom instruments for the disabled ones. Those instruments will be creating the same sound as the original one, but will be shaped differently to support the needs of the people with physical obstructions.

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