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Mundstücke für Paetzold by Kunath Blockflöten

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Recorders from the 3D printer

NAWAMU - Development of acoustically high-quality materials

High-quality woodwind instruments from the 3D printer? If the triad is right, that's possible.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Kunath Instrumentenbau has been researching new materials for musical instrument making since 01.06.2019.

Recorder out of the 3D-printerGanz so einfach wie auf dem Bild ist es (heute) noch nicht eine Blockflöte im 3D-Drucker enstehen zu lassen.

That is due to many reasons. Because the triad must be right.
Also in this case it consists, as always in the craft,  of the three pillars: 

- Skill
- Machines
- Material

capability means knowing how an instrument must be shaped. What dimensions does it need? Who will play the instrument and where should it be used?
When these basic questions are answered, the experienced instrument maker can choose the model that will form the basis of the instrument. Only then can he or she plan the individual steps and their sequence that are required to make the instrument.

The Machines and tools help to make the instruments out of the raw wood. Pure manual work is required for some operations, but a lathe is indispensable. Machines reduce production time without necessarily reducing the quality of the final product. Thus, in many cases (larger) recorders can only become affordable for the customer. Without a drill, lathe and carving knife, little is possible in conventional instrument making. In larger workshops, milling machines and other precision mechanical machines are added. The more modern a workshop is equipped, the more valuable and precise tools can be financed and used.

The material - apart from the model design - determines to a very large extent the sound and durability of the instrument. <brsp;
The pride of good instrument workshops is therefore a large stock filled with a more or less wide selection of suitable and well seasoned wood species.
This allows the instrument maker to select the appropriate material for the instrument - or for the customer's specific requirements.
Shall the instrument be used as a solo instrument, or merge into an ensemble? A well and sensibly selected material makes only perfect in the right coordination with the instrument design . </brsp;

Since 2015, Kunath Instrumentenbau has been experimenting with the rapidly developing possibilities of 3D printing. The RESONA material is the first in-house development of a material that is used to manufacture the bodies of large recorders. The material has a density comparable to rosewood, but the sound properties are compared by many musicians to the warmth and softness of cherry wood. This is due to the special way the material is processed.

A material cannot provide the answer to all questions in instrument making. Since the development of such materials is very time-consuming and costly, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports this work. With research programmes...
Kunath Instrumentenbau has qualified itself for the development and research of new materials through the wealth of experience it has gained in recent years. June 2019 saw the launch of the two-year research program NAWAMU - Development of sustainable, acoustically high-quality materials for additive manufacturing processes used in the manufacture of musical instruments to replace protected wood species. 

The aim is to develop printing materials that are sustainable, climate-neutral, harmless to health and at least equal in sound quality to normal materials (wood species). 
The project leader,  Sibo Kunath, explains that especially improving dimensional stability in relation to unwanted swelling and shrinkage by respiratory moisture, as well as influencing different temperatures on the instruments are other important goals of the working group to be surpassed by the new materials.

 sponsored by BMBF