Researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia have created a 3D printed flute that’s unlike any other. Aided by advanced mathematical models, the team, led by Dr. Terumi Narushima, has been able to 3D print flutes capable of playing microtonal scales, something that simply isn’t possible on standard instruments.

These fine-tuned flutes have very specific parameters as it relates to diameter, length and where to place the holes. They’ve already been featured in live theatre performances around Australia and will be featured in the Embracing Innovations exhibit at Craft ACT’s Craft and Design Centre next month.

The project isn’t just about creating new-sounding instruments. Global Challenges, Manufacturing Innovation Leader, Professor Geoffrey Spinks said they can see many applications moving forward with areas like custom-made instruments for people with physical restrictions, customized instrument design where alternative designs can be printed and tested prior to production and even print-on-demand options.

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