You no longer have to be a Stradivarius, a Gibson, or even a Steinway to make your own musical instruments. Anyone with access to a 3D printer and this simple software, developed by Autodesk Research, can turn any 3D model into a wind instrument capable of playing a variety of different notes.
Once you’ve imported the 3D model you want transformed into an instrument, the Printone software automatically creates a hollow cavity inside which allows air to resonate and actually produce a sound. The software also allows a user to place the mouthpiece anywhere on the model so that’s it’s easy to blow into, and not awkward to play.
To specify a range of notes the instrument can produce, Printone then has users place and size holes all over the 3D model while the software generates a real-time preview of the sound and specific note the instrument will create. Printone can also automatically position and adjust the size of the holes on the 3D model so that it hits a specific target note while played.
The 3D model can then be turned into an actual instrument using a standard 3D printer. The results might not quite rival the sound you’d get from a more traditional wind instrument, but this is another step towards finally figuring out a good use for 3D printers. As this software and 3D printing technology are further refined, one day you might not have to spend thousands of dollars for a beautiful sounding instrument, you could just turn a 3D scan of your head into one.