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    Considerations for the Design of Composite 3D Printed ‘Intermediate Level’ Trumpets

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)

    London, UK, 11 - 13 July 2017


    David Gibson, Adam Spry & Matthew Pope



    Using 3D printing techniques, it is now possible to create almost any small to medium object including brasswind instruments. However, creating a competitive brasswind instrument requires a different approach to conventional 3D printing - demanding specialised printing techniques which, up to now, have only been applied to the prototyping stage. This paper is a review of the considerations in the design process for a composite B♭ trumpet aimed at the intermediate level player. The trumpet is the next step up from introductory level instruments such as the pTrumpet or Tromba. As such, it must be comparable to brass equivalents available from manufacturers such as Vincent Bach, Getzen, and Yamaha. The acceptance of such an instrument is as important as the design therefore composite instruments would need to have ‘added value’ compared to their brass counterparts if they are to be successful in the marketplace. Many professional trumpet players such as Alison Balsom, Mike Lovatt, Sam Ritchie and Charlie Peterson have already endorsed the plastic trumpet for student use. To introduce an intermediate or professional composite instrument may therefore be considered appropriate at this time. Two hybrid prototype B♭ intermediate level trumpets are fabricated using 3D printing techniques and analysed using different bell types. Consideration of timbre, ease of playing (ergonomics and fatigue), leadpipe and bell design is discussed. The application of different 3D printing technologies is also considered. The resultant trumpets are shown to be comparable to typical mid-range brass equivalents.


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