The World’s First 3D Printed Orchestra

By now, everyone knows the joke about the smallest violin in the world. In addition to that, a miniature violinist makes the violin weep; all thanks to 3D printing. The technology has moved on further to gift the world with an entire miniature orchestra. It can give a heartwarming concerto.

The idea came from the Musical Instruments Museum found in Phoenix, Arizona. The facility already houses 16,000 objects associated with music. The museum has about 6,500 of these items on a regular basis. All the instruments found in the museum come from 200 countries all over the world. In other words, one sees a variety of objects that originates from different countries.

At this museum, you will see exhibits, which range from Elvis’ jumpsuits, Pablo Casal’s cello and even Dick Dale’s guitar. In addition to all this diversity, the museum hosts the world’s first orchestra to be printed in 3D.

In order to make it happen, they contacted musicians of the London City Orchestra. The musicians were then requested to go to a 3D printing studio called Thinglab that prioritizes 3D figurines. This includes my3Dtwin. This company specializes in creating 3D printed selfies. Two brothers of polish origin started the company. They were able to fulfill their dream of creating refined 3D selfies by teaming up with a London based company. Without the Cadventure Company, they would not have been able to create such full-color detailed figurines.

Each participant was requested to visit the studio and get a full body scan, which was then 3D printed to a twelfth the original size. The my3Dtwin studio uses the 3D SytemtemProJet printer to make its prints. The prints were all made using plaster of Paris. Since they were already in full color, very little processing was required. The studio did have to make slight alterations such as smoothing.

The museum was quite impressed by the results they got from the studio. The exhibit is displayed using an 84” monitor. NEC Display Solutions provided this monitor. When the music starts playing, the part of the orchestra that is playing is highlighted. This is a great relief for people who have a hard time figuring out which instrument is playing. You listen to the music while at the same time you are aware who is producing the music.

In order to make the 3D prints lifelike, all the musicians were scanned in a specific pose. This gives a more authentic feel as you listen to the music. It definitely aids with the visualization. The entire job is very impressive, you have cellists who are either staring at their sheet or at the conductor. You also get to see the pianist with his grand piano seated as though he is performing.

The orchestra features miniature stands, which are holding the sheet music. There is also the figurine of a woman who is seated next to a harp as she holds a tiny triangle. The Musical Instruments Museum have done a wonderful creating this 3D printed orchestra. They exhibit it in their Europe Gallery. On the museum’s website are some photos of the 3D printed orchestra.