Research & Special Orders

The virtually endless flexibility of 3D printing can be used as a very powerful tool for musical and musicological research:

  • Replicas of museum instruments for test and analysis.
  • Reconstruction of partially lost or damaged historical instruments.
  • Scaled up/down replicas of museum instruments in order to reach modern standard pitches, which allows them to be used in concert.
  • Interpolation and mix of different models for experimentation (e.g. inner bore of a certain instrument together with the holes of a different one).
  • Cheaper production costs in relation to traditional methods, which allows for more copies and more tests, while every copy remains equally precise.
  • Possibility for several researchers and players to work on the same instrument, even worldwide, both as 3D-model and as physical instrument.
  • Virtual analysis of the 3D-model meets practical acoustical tests on the 3D-printed instrument, allowing for a deeper understanding of how an instrument works.
  • Changes, corrections and modifications of an instrument can be quickly done and tested once a 3D-model has been made. Research and tests don’t start from scratch anymore while the iteration cycle becomes quicker and cheaper.

In other words, many of the tools music researchers have been dreaming for centuries of having are now available.

A good example of this new kind of research is the Willisau Knochenflöte Project.

Knochenflöte Willisau 4



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