The list of things that can’t be 3D printed is shrinking by the day. We’ve already marked off body parts and clothing, and now we can nix musical instruments, thanks to this 3D-printed alto saxophone.
Professor of Product Design Olaf Diegel of Lund University in Sweden took six months to design the saxophone, which uses 41 components. It’s layer-printed from nylon, so I’m guessing this is surely the first ever saxophone to be made of nylon, too. What it isn’t is the first ever 3D-printed musical instrument—Professor Diegel himself has seen to that, whose previous creations include a guitar.
Professor Diegel even gives a quick demo of the sax in action, although he denies being a saxophone player in his own right. I don’t know if he’s going to start taking lessons now, but he’s certainly not done tinkering. Diegel sees room for improvement—the current design mimics how a traditional saxophone is made, while the new design he’s working on will be designed specifically for the 3D printer.
3D printed instruments could be a pretty cool development in the future—what garage band isn’t going to want a whole set of instruments personalized with whatever word salad those kids think up of for their band name?