The 3D Printed Flute was a research project in the MIT Media Lab. The goal was to create a flute using 3D printing technologies – a flute that is compatible with a traditional concert flute, both acoustically and ergonomically.
This flute is composed from several materials - a rigid material was selected for the flute’s body, a different one for the mouthpiece, and a soft material for sealing the air properly. Only springs were added manually later.
This project was fabricated with the Objet Connex machine, which can print multiple materials in a single build. The overall process took around 15 hours, creating 4 separate parts that then were assembled to a working instrument.
This printed flute isn’t a perfect instrument. Also, some keys didn’t close properly, constraining the hands of the player from moving freely ups and downs the keys.