Take a listen to the first ever concert using only 3D-printed instruments

students hold first concert with only 3d printed instruments guitar
The age of 3D printing is well upon us. As new applications seem to be sprouting up daily, students from Lund University in Sweden found a whimsical way to show the new technology has staked its ground in the everyday world, playing the first-ever concert to be put on with strictly 3D-printed instruments, according to the university. The instruments were designed and printed by Olaf Diegel, a 3D-printing maestro and professor at the university.

The band features a 3D-printed drum kit, keyboard, electric bass, and electric guitar, each played by a student from Lund University’s Malmö Academy of Music.

Diegel has been experimenting with 3D-printing since the mid-1990s, but says he only began applying the technology to musical instruments about two years ago. He has eight different guitar designs listed on the website for his brand, aptly named Odd Guitars, as well as images and descriptions of other 3D-printed musical wares, including prototypes for a keyboard, drums, and even an alto saxophone.  One of his apparent side projects, dubbed the “Oddbot,” goes even further, described as an “omni-directional mecanum wheeled robot,” it is designed with angled rollers around its periphery that allows the vehicle to move sideways without needing to change the angle of its wheels.

Diegel claims that one of the main reasons he’s involved in 3D-print technology in the first place is to draw attention to the tech’s real-life applications beyond simple prototypes. Diegel himself has contributed to a project involving 3D-printed shoe inserts for diabetics. However, while the medical industry seems to have already become somewhat acclimated to the revolutionary technology, Diegel says musicians have been a harder sell.

According to Diegel, his students have been pleasantly surprised with the sound quality of the plasticized gear. “Musicians are very creative, but also very conservative, so their reactions have been interesting,” Diegel says. “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.”

Its evident after a quick listen that the band featured in the above video of the performance does appear to pull off a performance not much different than your average band using traditional instruments constructed with metal and wood. The video is only a few snippets in the background of the interview, however, so it’s not entirely clear how well this stuff actually plays in person.

You can order your own custom-built, 3D-printed guitar right now from ODD, but it’ll cost you a bit more than your average instrument. According to Diegel’s website, small-bodied guitars, like his Scarab and Spider designs, will cost $3,000, single-color, regular-sized guitars go for $3,500, and those with intricate air-brushed paint jobs for a full $4,000. Alternatively, you may just want to wait a few years for the technology to catch up, and print up a band setup for your very own.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Music

Brian Eno sets out to change music (again) with Bloom: 10 World

We always felt that Bloom was a musical system that could be developed further -- it was as if we’d built a CD player and only ever released one CD. For this release, we’ve created ten new worlds, starting with a reimagined version of…
Home Theater

Plex amps up its music offerings with tight integration with Tidal

Plex may not be the first platform you think of for music streaming, but that may be about to change. The popular media server has added Tidal to its growing list of features, letting Plex users integrate their collections with Tidal's.
Smart Home

Apple Music hits the Amazon Echo. Is the cold war over?

It's about time. Amazon and Apple seem to have called a truce as Amazon agrees to add Apple Music to an ever-growing line of streaming music services on its Echo smart speakers that includes competitors like Spotify.
Deals

Enthusiast alert: Get up to 67% off Polk Audio speakers at Adorama

Any time is a good time to upgrade your home theater sound system, which makes Adorama's Polk LSI Blowout Weekend Sale particularly tempting. Adorama has discounts up to 67 percent on Polk Audio's top-of-the-line LSiM Series for…
Home Theater

An acclaimed Apple analyst says the new AirPods are coming in 2019

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Mobile

You may soon be able to listen to your own songs on Spotify’s Android app

If you love Spotify's streaming, but also have a large collection of niche music, then it can be hard to marry your two passions. Thankfully, Spotify appears to be testing the ability to import local songs to its Android app.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Computing

Block out the sun and drown out the haters with Bose’s new AR sunglasses

Bose has announced its quirkiest listening device yet, a pair of headphone-integrated sunglasses that allow you to meander the brightest places with your favorite tunes in tow. Called the Frames, the glasses will sport 3.5 hours of battery.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.