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Ottawa Symphony Orchestra & Canada Makes launch a National 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Canada Makes are pleased to announce a National 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge to improve or design an ergonomically optimized musical instrument that leverages the power of 3D Printing (metal or polymer) for its fabrication, while remaining cost-effective. The competition, open to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, runs from 1 March, 2018 to 15 April, 2018 at midnight EDT.

There is an epidemic of performance injuries among professional musicians and music students. Prestigious music schools in Canada and internationally have responded to this issue through preventative education and bringing medical professionals to campus. The 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge offers an opportunity to address root causes of the issue insofar as it relates to instrument design.

“We want to do better for the next generation of musicians. 3D printing creates the opportunity to build structures that just weren’t possible before this technology. Our objective is to inspire designers, as individuals or teams, to engage in this multi-disciplinary challenge. We aim to help musicians excel in their craft, while pushing the boundaries of what is possible through improvements in design.” – Frank Defalco, Canada Makes

This design challenge encourages innovation in the design of musical instruments that integrate the latest science in ergonomics and the power of 3D printing for manufacturing.

“3D printing offers a whole new world of what could be possible in instrument creation. During the Industrial Revolution, major changes were made to instruments providing them with a greater range of expression and with more control over how loudly and softly they could play. This profoundly changed the way composers wrote music.

Today, with 3D printing, we want to see what kinds of instruments can be created with this new technology, and the new music it inspires today’s composers to create.” – Maestro Alain Trudel.

The winning entry will receive the KUN Prize, valued at over $35k, which includes a fabrication and fitting budget, performance of the instrument at the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 autumn 3D StringTheory concert, and a $5k cash prize. The KUN Prize is sponsored by Marina Kun, President of KUN Shoulder Rests Inc., and fabrication is sponsored by Precision ADM and Axis Prototype Inc. 

For more information and to be part of our project, visit: ottawasymphony.com/3dchallenge/

About the 3D StringTheory Project:

3D StringTheory asks:
What new instruments and sounds can we create using today’s newest technologies?

To explore the new creative possibilities that technology brings to music, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra has commissioned Ottawa violin maker Charline Dequincey and the Industrial Technology Centre in Winnipeg to create original 3D-printed string instruments. Montreal-born composer Harry Stafylakis will write an original piece of music inspired by these new sounds. The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra will present the final product of these collective efforts in a live performance of Stafylakis’ piece, featuring the new instruments in Autumn 2018.

The first 3D StringTheory prototype (photo credit: Daniel Crump)

The project will also feature public competitions involving instrument making and design challenges for youth, university students, and professionals. The 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge is the first competition to be announced.

The full process of creating the 3D-printed string instruments will be documented through a video series available for the public to follow and engage with online and through social media.

3D StringTheory explores how today’s new technologies, like 3D printing, can further expand musical boundaries.

About Marina Kun
While raising four daughters, Marina entered the world of violins and shoulder rests. In 1972 her late husband, Joseph Kun, an Ottawa-based violin and bow maker designed and patented a revolutionary shoulder rest. When Marina joined the business in 1974, she took a tiny company selling only dozens of shoulder rests and turned it into a global market leader creating a household name in the international strings world. Creating the ‘KUN’ brand almost from scratch, her company now holds dozens of global patents and has the widest product range in the industry with no less than 80% of the world.

The KUN name has become an icon in the music industry and is one of the only Canadian companies that is a major manufacturer in the music world. In 2005, Marina’s company received the Design Exchange and National Post Gold Medal for Industrial Design for the Voce rest.

Marina was designated one of Canada’s top 100 Women Entrepreneurs in 2006 by PROFIT, and Kun Shoulder Rest Inc. received the Business of the Year Award by the Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2004).
Full text: https://womensbusinessnetwork.ca/download.php?id=134

About Axis Prototype
As one of Canada’s premier 3D printing companies, Axis Prototype offer a wide range of rapid prototyping services that turn digital models into 3D prototypes via additive manufacturing technologies such as FDM, SLS, SLA and DMLS. Prototyping services.

About Precision ADM
Precision ADM Inc. is a global engineering and manufacturing solutions provider that uses Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing, as a core technology, complimented by multi-axis machining to manufacture high value components and devices for the medical, aerospace, energy, and industrial sectors. Precision ADM has created a comprehensive Advanced Digital Manufacturing™ process which includes Design Support, Engineering, Manufacturing and Finishing. Precision ADM is ISO 13485:2016 certified and headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

About Canada Makes
Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing (AM) in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada. The network covers a broad range of additive manufacturing technologies including 3D printing; reverse engineering 3D imaging; medical implants and replacement human tissue; metallic 3D printing and more.

The National 3D Printed Musical Instrument Challenge is an addition to the series of Pan-Canadian 3D Printing Challenges hosted by Canada Makes. The adoption of digital manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing requires new approaches to skills and training focused on building experiential and collaborative learning. 

Media Contact:
Angela Schleihauf, Project Managermarketing@ottawasymphony.com

Available for interview:

  • Alain Trudel, Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra
  • Frank Defalco, Manager, Canada Makes
  • Angela Schleihauf, Project Manager, 3D StringTheory, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra