World’s First 3D Printed Live Concert Takes Place at Lund University in Sweden

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band5Oddly enough, the music industry, one which you would not typically consider having much use for 3D printing, is finding ways in which the technology can be integrated in a variety of ways within various projects. Just yesterday, we covered a story about a new music video released by a band called Feral Five, which featured a MakerBot 3D printer in the video, which also played a vital role in the music itself, offering key beats for the single ‘3D’.

In the past, we have followed Olaf Diegel and his amazing work 3D printing various instruments including guitars, a keyboard, drums, and even a saxophone. Diegel also happens be a professor at Lund University in Sweden where he has just accomplished yet another ‘first’. Just like he 3D printed the very first saxophone, with the help of 3D Systems, Diegel has produced the very first live concert with a band, using instruments which have all been 3D printed.

Olaf Diegel

Olaf Diegel

”3D printing allows me to make complex shapes that are impossible to do any other way. I can also tailor instruments very precisely for musicians who want their instruments custom-made,” says Diegel, a professor in product development.

Diegel also finds 3D printing advantageous because of the fact that he is able to design the instruments for the very musicians who will be playing them. If one musician feels more comfortable with a certain shape of guitar, Diegel can easily integrate that preference into his design.

The concert, which took place today at Lund University, featured band members from the University’s Malmö Academy of Music. The band played using two electric guitars, a drum set, and a keyboard, which had all been designed and printed by Diegel himself, who is using music to hopefully open up the eyes of those within other fields, like that of medicine.

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The Band Rehearsing

“There has been a few applications in the medical field… we need more of that,” explained Diegel “That is one of the reasons why I did the guitar, to show this is usable beyond a prototype.”

Not only was the music reportedly amazing, but the aesthetics of the performance were enhanced by the incredibly intricate designs of the instruments. One guitar was created in the likeness of the American Flag, with well known landmarks like the Statue of Liberty worked into the design, while the keyboard had a white floral pattern to it.

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As for what the musicians think, who have played these instruments, Diegel notes:

“Musicians are very creative, but also very conservative, so their reactions have been interesting. They first approach what is essentially a plastic guitar with suspicion. Then, when they have a play with it, they’re amazed that it sounds and plays like a high quality electric guitar.”

I’m sure we haven’t seen or heard the end from Olaf Diegel and his amazing work within the intersecting space where music meets additive manufacturing. Discuss this story and Diegel’s other work, in the 3D printed live concert forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the video below of the band rehearsing.

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