Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

UConn makes 3-D copies of antique instrument parts

By
From page A1 | July 28, 2014 |

Robert Howe

In this July 17, 2014, photo, Dr. Robert Howe, a medical doctor and a PhD candidate in music history, plays an antique recorder that was repaired using a 3D printing of the instrument's original bell, at the University of Connecticut's Depot Campus in Mansfield, Conn. Howe and his colleagues have been using CT scans and 3D printing to unlock the secrets of antique instruments and make replica parts that will allow them to be played. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

STORRS, Conn. — Researchers at the University of Connecticut are using medical technology to breathe new life into some antique musical instruments.

Dr. Robert Howe, a reproductive endocrinologist in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, says his medical practice showed him how computerized tomography could make precise 3-D images of body parts. As a student of music history, he realized the same CT scanning technology could help him study delicate musical instruments from the past.

Howe, who is also a doctoral student in music theory and history at UConn, last year brought his idea to music theory professor Richard Bass, who contacted Sina Shahbazmohamadi, an engineer and the school’s director for advanced 3-D imaging.

Together, they have developed a process for using CT scanning technology not only to make images of those instruments but also to print 3-D copies of parts that will allow more of them to be played.

This week, they began seeking a patent for that process.

The CT scanning alone has yielded exciting results, including images that show the construction of an 18th-century English horn was much more complicated than experts originally thought. Because nobody would allow one of the rare and delicate instruments to be cut open, experts couldn’t see the intricate set of bores and wooden pins used to hold it together, Howe said. The construction also didn’t show up on a traditional X-ray because the pins are made of the same material as the horn.

A breakthrough by Shahbazmohamadi allowed the team to scan metal and wood at the same time. That allowed them to get exact 3-D images of items such as a mouthpiece from one of the first saxophones made by Adolphe Sax in the 19th century.

“Only three original mouthpieces are known to exist in the entire world,” Howe said.

Before this technology, an attempt to copy the handmade part would have required measuring it with metal calipers and other instruments, which would have left marks. An artisan would then have to translate those measurements into tooling for a duplicate, a time-consuming and costly process.

So instead, musicians have been jury rigging modern mouthpieces to fit old saxophones as best they can. The musical results can be disappointing, Howe said.

Paul Cohen, a saxophonist who teaches at New York University, said Howe’s work could go a long way in helping experts understand what centuries-old music was meant to sound like.

“If they can accurately reproduce the dimensions in the mouthpiece that Adolphe Sax himself invented, it would be of fundamental, seminal importance in understanding our instrument,” he said.

The UConn team scanned the original mouthpiece and, after some experimentation in density, produced a plastic replica on a 3-D printer that can be fitted to the original saxophone. The team also has scaled the imaging data to size to make mouthpieces for a range of Sax’s horns, from B-flat bass to E-flat sopranino.

“This is pretty darned good, and it’s an $18 piece,” Howe said. “The technology is not only very, very accurate, but very inexpensive.”

The images can be kept on file, and as the technology improves, machines can make exact copies in the original materials, Shahbazmohamadi said.

The same technology could eventually be used to make copies of entire instruments or to repair broken ones. With the computer technology, flaws in the original can be fixed, he said.

Howe has already played one instrument, a 1740 recorder, with a replacement part made by the 3-D printer.

“The universal availability of 3-D printing, which is happening as we wait, will make all this work very relevant and not just for musical instruments,” Howe said. “The ability to measure and replicate items that are difficult to measure and replicate is going to explode.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Hazmat crew responds to Fairfield after spill Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

SBDC schedules free workshop for small businesses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Rotary to host Senior Center fall dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

CHP offers teen drivers class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Golf tourney to help uninsured children

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

Dixon Scottish Games return to Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield teen scouts books

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local governments schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Master Gardeners schedule annual plant exchange

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. hold butchery class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
American music makes a sweet sound Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8, 10 Comments | Gallery

North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

‘Peter Pan’ earns Elly awards for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Some California wells run dry amid drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Melted glacier sends miles of mud down Mt. Shasta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Crews cleaning fuel spill in San Francisco Bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gov. Brown signs clean-air vehicle legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Del. authorities: Bus overturns, at least 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA’s Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Maze Runner’ races past ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Idealists made mess of 20th century

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Ned’s drinking is ruining our parents’ business, health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

 
Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7