Design and the appropriation of 3D printing techniques in the management of an innovative product system in the field of wind musical instruments

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Liliana SoaresErmanno AparoRita Almendra

Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to the innovation of the musical instruments sector of the wind family, including historical and semantic references from the past and the present, unites signs in a chain of logical associations and qualifies old concepts with a renewed identity. The uncertainty, ephemerality and complexity that characterize current reality call for a permanent research of production, opting for alternative, symbolic and process paths, which instigate the development of innovative and sustainable products. Music exalts the symbiosis between the musician and his instrument, so the quality of the performance is subordinated to this relationship and to the confidence that the instrumentalist exercises in the handling and in the domain of the artifact that becomes a true extension of his body. Mass production and the consequent monopolization of the market by major international brands have contributed to a standardization of the way of playing or even of sound. This phenomenon, in some specific areas of music, can correspond to a loss of quality. On the other hand, a critical analysis of the differences and particularities of each musician reveals that he may need to have a personalized instrument. The research validates a production and distribution system that can effectively respond to requests for customized products. For this reason, it is a revealing, revolutionary proposal and an alternative to the solutions that are on the market, following the needs of each client. This study aims to demonstrate the role of design in the management of rapid production technologies for the creation of niche products with a high degree of customization. The development and diffusion of fast production technologies - such as 3d printers - and the implementation in the music industry in the creation of components - such as mouthpieces and mouthpieces for wind instruments - can be an opportunity to propose a new scenario for the creation and product distribution. An action that will directly benefit from the possibility of customization. Today, there are some international brands that, for example, in the case of instruments from the saxophone and clarinet families, are producing mouthpieces with 3d printing technologies, using filaments or biocompatible resins that compete with current mouthpieces produced in plastic or in ebonite. However, it seems that the issues of distribution and commercialization of these products have not reached the evolution and the potential that these ways of producing provide. The experience of the research team accumulated in previous projects - Almada trumpet project (2019) Shatron mute project (2020) - allow to understand the importance of the scope of music as an experimentation laboratory, validating principles, processes and methodologies that can later be applied to other fields of action of products and services. In Portugal, currently the sector of the production of musical instruments is essentially focused on the restoration of components and objects, so this proposal may reveal new values and a concrete business possibility for a sector in crisis and which is an integral part. of the country's memory. This action may be a response to the indisputable improvement of the wind musical products and, consequently, of the lutherie sector in Portugal. Following the foregoing considerations, the following research question was considered: To what extent can design contribute to the effective improvement and innovation of the musical instruments sector in the wind family? Considering the research problem, this study aims to: 1) Producing a component like a mouthpiece for a wind musical instrument can offer important advantages for a distributor. 2) Increase the possibilities of product customization and bringing the qualities of the component closer to the most specific needs of each customer. 3) Reduce storage and stock requirements, making it possible to print only the components that can be sold.
 4) Reverse the entire sales service much more personalized and close to the Customers.
 5) Create a pilot model as a reference to be adapted to other realities. Based on the study's problems, the research question and the proposed objectives, it was considered possible to state the following hypothesis of this study: The modus operandi that crosses 3d printing techniques and the entrepreneurial initiative presents a methodological and operative singularity that confers a creative, experimental and innovative role in the customization and distribution of musical instruments. 
As this is a co-design project, the intellectual property belongs to all members of the team. The eventual adaptation of the model should be negotiated with all the intervening institutions.

Keywords: Design-Driven Innovation, System, Design Method, 3D Printing Techniques, Quality Function Deployment

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe100980

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