3D printing has applications in just about every industry, including music. We’ve seen 3D-printed custom flutes and other instruments, and even an entirely 3D-printed Stradivarius violin and a 3D printed electric guitar. Now it is assisting in producing the custom Saxophone mouthpieces.
The mouthpiece is a critical component of a saxophone because this interface between the musician and instrument is what produces the sax’s tone. One shape will create one tone and another shape another.
The mouthpieces you see in the video below were designed at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, by assistant professor Jouke Verlinden and PhD student Zjenja Doubrovski. The video above shows saxophonist Leo van Oostrum testing a replicated enhancement of a Meyer mouthpiece. In total, he played with four different mouthpieces: an original Meyer mouthpiece, SLS nylon printed, EBM titanium printed and another printed on Objet 3D printer.
The next video shows saxophonist Benjamin Herman playing various mouthpieces. I’m not exactly sure, but I believe it is a practice session prior to a gig at the North Sea Jazz festival, where the 3D-printed mouthpieces were demonstrated.
How much did each mouthpiece cost to print? About one Euro is all. 3D printing, in addition to enhancing customization and innovation, saves money, which is one of the reasons the technology is exploding.
If you’ve got some better details on what went on with the sax mouthpieces at the festival, please let me know and I’ll update the story.
Hat Tip: 3Ders.org