January 18, 2022

Architecture Student Hits the Right Notes with 3D Printing

Industrial design, metallurgy and music — yes, music — all came together in this unique student project.

Anastasia Kolomiets, a master’s student in the Technion Faculty of Architecture, designed and manufactured the first-ever titanium flute made with 3D-printing. This elegant recorder was honored with a photo in Wohlers Report, often referred to as the “bible” of 3D printing, and also placed third in the GE-Arcam UGM Competition 2019 for “Best Creative part.”

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During her graduate studies, Kolomiets has focused on industrial design, materials, and 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM). As its name implies, additive manufacturing adds material, layer by layer, versus the traditional means of removing material to shape or carve an object. Using computer-aided design (CAD) software or 3D object scanners, AM objects can be extremely intricate, lightweight and strong.

Until now, titanium additive manufacturing has been mainly used for customized parts in medicine, aviation, and aerospace, and has been limited to prototyping. Kolomiets’ research has demonstrated that titanium 3D printing can be extended to consumer products such as musical instruments and can be used as a manufacturing technique.

The flute project was conducted in collaboration with the Israel Institute of Metals at the Technion under the supervision of Professor Yasha Grobman, dean of the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, and Professor Ezri Tarazi, chair of the faculty’s Industrial Design Program. Since becoming dean in 2019, Prof. Grobman has encouraged students to explore the use of computers as architectural tools. His Technion Computer Oriented Manufacturing Lab, the only such lab in Israel, is equipped with sophisticated digital tools and machinery to aid in industrial design as well as manufacturing.