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National 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge

Canada Makes and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra are launching a new Canada-Wide 3D Printing Challenge to improve or design an ergonomically optimized musical instrument that leverages the power of 3D Printing (metal or polymer) for its fabrication and remains cost-effective. The competition, open to all Canadian residents, is sponsored by Marina Kun, President of KUN Shoulder Rests Inc and the fabrication is sponsored by Precision ADM and Axis Prototype Inc.

The winning entry will collect the KUN Prize (valued at $36,500) which includes:

  • Up to a $5,000 Fabrication Budget (sponsored by Precision ADM and Axis Prototype Inc);
  • Up to a $5,000 Fitting Budget;
  • Integration of a specific 5-minute segment for the instrument in the “3D String Theory” concert in the autumn of 2018 (valued at $20,000);
  • Up to $1,500 in travel and accommodation costs to attend the “3D StringTheory” concert in Ottawa;
  • One pair of tickets to attend the “3D StringTheory” concert in autumn of 2018;
  • Opportunity to present at the instrument’s first public performance; and
  • A $5,000 cash prize.

The Challenge Begins on March 1st, 2018, and concludes on April 15th at midnight, EST.

Competition Information:

  • Applicant must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Submissions must include:
    • The proposed design (including a 3D STL or STEP model);
    • The expected performance of the design (maximum 500 words);
    • The expected acoustical performance of the instrument (maximum 500 words);
    • The ergonomic improvements for the performer (maximum 500 words); and
    • The fabrication process and materials (maximum 500 words)
  • Submissions can be made by individuals or teams. However, only 1 pair of concert tickets will be awarded to the winning entry, and the travel and accommodation budget to attend the concert is limited to $1500.
  • Subject to the challenge conditions, the winner will get to keep the instrument fabricated

Submitted designs will be evaluated on the design criteria and the top three designs will be selected for discussion with a technical committee. The winning entry must satisfy all performance criteria.

Following review by the Technical Committee, a winner will be selected. The winning designer will have their design fabricated and tested for musical and ergonomic performance. The designer will be supported with a fabrication and fitting budget to realize a functioning instrument to be delivered no later than June 30, 2018.

Design criteria:
4.1          The design may be for a new instrument, or an improvement on an existing instrument.
4.2          The instrument must be expected to provide a musical performance deemed acceptable for a professional performance. Specifically, the instrument is expected to:

  • reliably and readily produce a sound when struck, blown/buzzed, or plucked/bowed; and
  • produce consistent pitches when the same note is struck, blown/buzzed, or plucked/bowed.

4.3          The design must have improved ergonomics as compared to a similar, existing instrument.

4.4          The design must integrate the use of 3D Printing (metal or polymer) for the fabrication in whole, or in parts, of the instrument.

4.5          The design must achieve a total instrument cost which is financially viable, taking into consideration the $5,000 fabrication budget, and the $5,000 fitting budget.

See Competition Rules for full Terms and Conditions

Key dates
Expression of Interest: 11:59 PM ET, Sunday, March 18, 2018
Deadline for Submissions: 11:59 PM ET, Sunday, April 15, 2018
Results of Technical and Artistic Review: Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Winner notification: Saturday, May 12, 2018
Delivery of Functioning Instrument: Saturday, June 30, 2018

See Competition Rules for full details regarding Expression of Interest and Submissions

Submit Expression of Interest to Artistic_Operations@ottawasymphony.com
Submit proposed design (including a 3D STL or STEP model) to Artistic_Operations@ottawasymphony.com through Dropbox

Click here to Submit Application Form

 Precision ADMAxis Prototype

Canada Makes

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