All told, I am very pleased with the results, meaning the additively manufactured mold halves and the carbon fiber trombone, and thrilled about the success of the project.
What's next for you? Was this a one-time experiment or do you plan to continue making musical instruments via this method?
Rotter: This was definitely not a one-time experiment. There is still so much room for improvement and optimization when it comes to creating production-ready molds for carbon fiber instruments. Aside from the FLM process, there are other types of additive manufacturing processes and different methods for creating carbon fiber parts on the market we should further explore and establish. For me, additive manufacturing will be an important tool, especially as it pertains to prototypes and the first small series production of musical instruments made of fiber-reinforced plastics. In the long run, molds made of aluminum or other materials are also an option to produce large series parts.
What is your prediction for the future of 3D printing?
Rotter: Additive manufacturing will continue to be an integral part when it comes to creating carbon fiber instruments. From an economic, manufacturing and time perspective, the process offers many benefits as it pertains to prototype, small series and first model production, ensuring it will play an important role in the future development process.