The sound and playability of a saxophone is to a large extent determined by the geometry of its mouthpiece. However, the variety of commercially available geometries is limited. This project investigates how 3D printing techniques can be used to design and manufacture personalized saxophone mouthpieces that create the desired sound and feel for individual players.
In close cooperation with a number of professional saxophonists, new geometries are designed and printed. The players try out the mouthpieces and rate their sound and playing qualities. Several iterations may lead to personally optimized geometries.
Eventually, the project will lead to 1) knowledge on the relation between mouthpiece geometry and sound; 2) a workflow to design, customize, and produce new mouthpieces; and 3) the possible start of a new business in this niche market.
The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague;
Jouke Verlinden, MSc, Dept. Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, researcher;
Zjenja Doubrovski, MSc, Dept. Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, PhD candidate;
Valerio Lorenzoni, MSc, Siemens Wind Power A/S.