CASE STUDIES

Fast Radius Creates Virtual Warehouse for Clarinet Manufacturer to 3D Print Instrument Mouthpieces on Demand

virtual warehouse
virtual warehouse
Above: Fast Radius creates virtual 3D printable virtual warehouse for clarinet manufacturer/Image Credit: Fast Radius

ClarinetXpress mouthpieces have made music on every continent in the world, in venues like Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, for more than twenty years. For many of these years, the mouthpieces for the clarinets were made by a skilled machinist in Germany. When this manufacturing partner retired, ClarinetXpress decided to try additive manufacturing for better and faster prototyping and turned to Fast Radius for both its design expertise and Virtual Warehouse™ capability.  

Application engineers from Fast Radius worked with ClarinetXpress to understand the performance and aesthetic requirements for the mouthpieces. Fast Radius determined that Rigid Polyurethane (RPU 70) printed on Carbon® Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS™) technology would give the mouthpieces the right look, feel, and sound.

Speaking on the precision required in Clarinets, Walter Grabner, CEO and Founder of ClarinetXpress explained, “Even the tiniest variation in a mouthpiece can alter the sound of the clarinet drastically. Mouthpieces need to meet precise specifications to achieve the quality and pitch demanded by elite musicians.

virtual warehouse
Above: ClarinetXpress can customize their products much more easily with additive manufacturing/Image Credit: Fast Radius

ClarinetXpress frequently needs a relatively low volume of mouthpieces, comprising several different types and sizes. Where legacy processes would likely require them to order a large minimum number of each mouthpiece, additive manufacturing enables them to order only as many as needed, without incurring extra cost.

According to John Nanry, Chief Product Officer, Fast Radius, “We created a Virtual Warehouse for ClarinetXpress—instead of ordering mouthpieces in bulk and storing them, they can now place orders for small batches to meet immediate demand.

ClarinetXpress mouthpieces went through several rounds of rapid prototyping within a few weeks with Fast Radius. Making a single prototype with their former supplier would have taken at least a month. At each step in the process, the Fast Radius team helped ClarinetXpress adjust their designs to print more effectively with Carbon technology.

Grabner continued, “The capacity to produce prototypes quickly is invaluable to me. Now, I can simply submit designs for new mouthpieces to Fast Radius and receive the parts in a few days. Being able to make quick changes and alterations to my mouthpieces has allowed me to deliver an exceptional product to my customers.”


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