3D Printers

Zortrax Shows Off the 3D Printed Future of Music

Ever since I wrote about Berlin-based musician Onyx Ashanti and his home-made, 3D printed, full-body MIDI controllers, I’ve been waiting for tech-savvy musicians to begin a wave of custom, 3D printed instruments.  With engineering know-how and a desktop 3D printer, it’s possible to configure buttons and shape instrument bodies to yield previously unseen MIDI controllers.  Polish 3D printer manufacturer, Zortrax, has begun to demonstrate the possibilities with their recent promo video, showing off a 3D printed beat machine:

The 3D printed MIDI controller, which works with almost any potentiometer or pad, has a Trellis embedded within connected to an internal keypad, allowing it to work as a beat machine, a sequencer, or an Ableton track trigger.  The entire body, as well as the knobs and button grid, were 3D printed on the Zortrax M200 3D printer with the company’s Z-ULTRAT and Z-ABS 3D printing filament.  In 13 hours, the Zortrax was able construct the controller’s various parts with an accuracy of .14mm and using only .23 lbs of filament.

zortrax 3D printed midi controller beat machine

Zortrax, which has already seen its fair share of success, is in the process of showing off the uses that desktop 3D printers already have, when used to their fullest potential.  Before this beat machine, the company proved that 3D printing on a low-cost machine like theirs can produce complex prototypes, like a 3D printed robotic arm.  So, next time anyone asks you what anyone might even use a 3D printer for, you can show them what Zortrax is up to.  If they ask where they can download and print their own MIDI controller, tell them you don’t know because I can’t seem to find it anywhere.  I asked the Zotrax folks, so I’ll let you know when I hear back from them!