Create an Ultimaker Orchestra of 3D printed Instruments

3D print your own instruments


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Maria João Magno de Morais Silva teacher at Escola Básica 2/3 Professor Galopim de Carvalho


Learning Goals
Explore the possibilities of 3D Printing applied to Music education and learning.
Develop a project from concept to completion.
The development of teamwork and relationships skills outside student’s personal environment/ethnic group.
Motivate students to find, explore and understand the relationships between Music and daily life objects and/or with other curriculum subjects.
Learning to face challenges and to solve problems using creativity and ingenuity.
Value the creative processes and the resulting objects as useful tools for music production.
Sharing and combining knowledge and experiences with other teachers of different areas/subjects.

Time indication
All preparation for these interventions took place during regular classes, which after a while became a veritable rehearsal space as well as a stage for space movement manoeuvres experiences, comprising between twenty to twenty-nine students per class

Type of education

Escola Básica 2/3 Professor Galopim de Carvalho (Portugal)
Public school, Number of students 4000, age of students between 4-18 years old

Education toolbox
Which design program do you use?

Use the design program that you are used to.

Which other tools and equipment do you need?

personal belongings: a big plastic flower pot, an aluminum pot lid, two little plastic bags.
cords, membranes, etc.



Project description
Stage 1 - 3D Musical Instruments
Each student group will be assigned with one of the four main categories of the Hornbostel-Sachs musical instruments classification.
Each group, will be responsible for studying, exploring, creating and making, two musical instruments representative of their assigned category.
Each Student group will first work with an existing Musical Instrument 3D model, of their choosing, available for 3D Printing and licensed for educational use, that can be found in sites like

Stage 2 - Sound Experiments
In stage 2, students will continue learning and experimenting, but will have a new challenge, they will have to (re)create an “original” musical instrument that meets the classification criteria of their assigned category.
Testing of the 3D printed prototypes based on;
Their sonic qualities of timbre and sound profile.
The quality of their Acoustic resonance
Other aspects related to the final purpose of playing the 3D printed instruments.

Stage 3 - Instruments Fabrication and Post-Processing
(3D printing + other elements)
3D Printing 3 copies of each final instrument for a total of 24 instruments.
Post Processing of the 3D printed instruments. Cleaning, joining and adding other elements if necessary to complete the instruments. (cords, membranes, etc…)

Stage 4 - Integration of the 3D printed instruments in four different musical situations.
Creation of a classroom orchestra with Ultimaker 3D printed instruments only
Ultimaker instruments integrated in the existing school’s Orff Orchestra.
Ultimaker instruments integrated in the Symphonic Orchestra of Sintra’s schools group. With the participation of some composers who will create a new musical repertoire to include the Ultimaker 3D printed instruments.
Ultimaker instruments integrated into the school's youth bands, as companions in the different musical genres that they practice.

Some instrument background
Chordophone is a musical instrument that produces sound by way of a vibrating string or strings stretched between two points. e.g.: guitar / cavaquinho
Aerophone - a musical instrument that produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound. e.g.: flute / ocarina
Membranophone any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane. e.g.: drums with different percussion modes

Idiophone any musical instrument that creates sound primarily by the instrument vibrating as a whole, without the use of strings or membranes. e.g.: maracas / xylophone (metalofone)

Materials and methods

Personal belongings: a big plastic flower pot, an aluminum pot lid, two little plastic bags.
cords, membranes, etc.


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    Maria Joao Magno Education Challenge Proposal For Release
    PDF  –  2 mb
    Version 1 - Aug 07, 2018


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