Nov 8, 2015 | By Tess

Florida based architectural practice Monad Studio was founded in 2002 by Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg. The studio was formed in an effort for its founders to explore and develop spatial perceptions in relation to rhythmic effect. Their projects, which have ranged from building and urban planning, to landscape, to art installations, to product design, have often combined various aspects of technology and design in an innovative way.

Although the design team have focused on a wide variety of projects, it is perhaps their designs that center around sound that have garnered the most attention - particularly due to to their generative design methods that resemble what some might consider an futuristic spaceship aesthetic.  Of course, these wouldn’t be possible without additive manufacturing techniques.

Their most recent project, entitled MULTI, a collection of five 3D printed musical instruments made in collaboration with musician and luthier Scott F. Hall, has also brought sound and music into the mix of technology and design in an explicit way. The additively manufactured instruments, each unique and intricate in its design and each requiring three to six months to design, include the following: a 2-string piezoelectric violin, a 1-string electric travel bass guitar or monobarasitar, a 1-string piezoelectric monovioloncello, a small didgeridoo, and a hornucopian drone pipe. In addition to the five instruments, MULTI also comprises of a sonic wall, which serves as both a band shell and instrument rack.

The overall design of the instruments bears an unmistakable organic aesthetic, and the creators at Monad have stated that the Floridian flora that surrounds their studio in Miami inspired them in their design.

2-string piezoelectric violin

The Piezoelectric Violin, pictured below, took about 10 days to 3D print, and though its appearance bears little similarity to classical violins, Goldemberg explains that there are similar elements between the two instrument designs. The design more closely resembles a scale model of a spaceship - however it is perfectly capable of playing a tune thanks to a piezoelectric sensor, which is used commonly used as a “pickup” on musical instruments to amplify sound.

In an interview with the BBC Goldemberg explained, “With each of our original instruments, a certain functionality and ergonomic structure is preserved: this is why we can call our violin a violin, our cello, a cello, and so forth. There is a certain physical standard of componentry which must be maintained.”

1-string electric travel bass guitar (monobarasitar)

The Monobarasitar is a one stringed electric travel bass. Though some of Monad’s instruments, such as the wind instruments, are completely 3D printed, the Monobarasitar also requires additional parts such as a string, bridges, and tuning gears.

1-string piezoelectric monovioloncello

The Piezoelectric Monovioloncello is a 3D printed cello and was presented alongside the Monobarasitar and the Piezoelectric Violin in New York where it was played by Scott F. Hall, one of the project’s collaborators. The instruments were printed on a MakerBot Replicator Z18.

Small didgeridoo and hornucopian (large didgeridoo)

The final two instruments of the group are a small Didgeridoo and a Hornucopian Drone Pipe, which is essentially a larger version of a didgeridoo. The didgeridoo is an instrument that was developed over a thousand years ago by Australia’s indigenous peoples. The Hornucopian Dronepipe’s design is especially impressive and Goldemberg has described being inspired specifically by Florida’s pythons and strangler fig trees in designing the large instrument.

Sonic wall

The sonic wall, in front of which all the instruments are meant to be played, measures 5 meters x 2 meters. In addition to functioning as an instrument stand and band shell, the sonic wall emits a drone making it an instrument of sorts as well.

Monad’s 3D printed and extremely stylized instruments impressed and made waves at this year’s NYC Design Week for not only looking amazing but also sounding equally as good. To get an idea of what some of the instruments sound like, check out the videos below.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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