Note: The following was authored by Tim Caffrey, senior consultant at Wohlers Associates.
Olaf Diegal has done it again. His latest feat: a 3D-printed alto saxophone. At 575 grams vs. 2.5 kg, the laser-sintered nylon instrument weighs less than a quarter of a metal sax. Consisting of 41 separate parts, not counting the metal springs and screws, a saxophone is an incredibly complex instrument. One can only imagine how time-consuming the modeling of all the 3D-printed parts was using SolidWorks.
Olaf admits his first version had a few small problems. Nevertheless, as a design exercise, his sax is nothing short of amazing. For the second version, he plans to redesign the instrument by integrating all the spring actions into the 3D-printed parts.
The attention Olaf’s sax has drawn on the Internet is also amazing. His YouTube “sneak preview” video has been viewed nearly 200,000 times since it was posted less than three weeks ago.
One reason Olaf decided to tackle the challenge was to show that real-world products beyond trinkets and Yoda heads can be 3D printed. He is actively looking for a new challenge in design and 3D printing and has asked us to help him identify a new project. So, if you have ideas, please pass them along to him or us.
Olaf is an associate consultant at Wohlers Associates and a professor of mechatronics at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. You may be familiar with the stunning 3D-printed guitar bodies that Olaf designs, prints, and assembles into fully functional masterpieces. If you are unfamiliar with them, have a look at the ODD Guitars.