"Yes, you can buy your very own 3D printed sitar from us now."
Australian company 3DLI has successfully made the world’s first 3D printed sitar, adding another Indian classical instrument to its collection.
After printing the first 3D tabla in 2015, they have taken on a friend’s request to recreate the Sitar with 3D printing technology.
The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument of the lute family, mainly used in Indian music.
Music legend, George Harrison, grew this instrument’s popularity in the West. Learning from master Ravi Shankar, he incorporated it into several Beatles’ songs.
Its distinctive properties initially posed certain challenges for 3DLI in replicating the instrument and preserving its classical sound.
In an exclusive Gupshup with DESIblitz, the team tells us:
“We were interested to pursue this challenge to validate that a stringed musical instrument as unique as a sitar could be 3D printed whilst maintaining its distinct sound quality and tonal qualities.”
The body of the 3D sitar is reverse engineered and drawn in CAD software, as the team goes on to explain:
“This model is 3D printed in individual body parts because it is 1.2 metres long and most 3D printers have a workspace limited to approximately 300mm.”
All the individual pieces are then welded together, providing a strong bond.
It is no easy task to measure the material thickness of the original sitar, without opening or cutting the sitar into pieces:
“We maintained the wall thicknesses and hollow cavities as close as possible to the original sitar. We also used standard bridge, frets and strings, required to create the distinct quality of the sitar buzz.”
Talented local musician and experienced Sitar player Mat Creedon has tested the instrument and given positive feedback of its feel and sound, which is louder than the traditional sitar.
Get behind the scenes to see how the 3D sitar is made:
3DLI has spent approximately two weeks on creating this sitar from start to finish. New orders should take less time to complete, as most of the design work is already in place.
The team tells us: “Yes, you can buy your very own 3D printed sitar from us now – customise how you like it.”
3DLI are confident from their research that they are ‘the first to create a fully functional 3D printed sitar offering such great sound quality and tone’.
The demand for 3D printing is increasing in Australia, as 3DLI comments: “Many businesses are using 3D printing to help with research and development and engineering design.”
Providing services in creating 2D and 3D CAD models which can be used for prototyping, validation or manufacturing, 3DLI is currently working on bringing musical instruments alive through the exciting technology.