Paisley Park, a Minnesota-based active museum, recording studio, and concert venue, is currently home to a large 3D printed baby grand piano which has been created to showcase Prince’s expansive shoe collection: The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes.
The Paisley Park team has worked with 3D Printing company Stratasys to bring this custom set of 3D-printed display pieces to life.
The Beautiful Collection highlights approximately 300 pairs of shoes worn by Prince throughout his career. However, the baby grand piano, placed in the center of the exhibit features 11 pairs of shoes. The ultimate objective of this exhibition is to highlight Prince’s impact on fashion, performance, and popular culture.
The baby grand piano’s manufacturing process requires the use of both FDM® and PolyJet™ 3D printing technologies. 45 individual parts fused together have been printed to create the final piece.
All structural parts were printed in Nylon12 Carbon Fiber and non-load-bearing covers were printed in ASA Black material. The structural parts have been fabricated on Stratasys F900 3D printer and Stratasys Fortus 450 3D printer.
The keys of the piano were printed using PolyJet technology on the Stratasys J850 3D printer using VeroUltra White and VeroUltra Black materials – no paint was necessary to finish the keys.
When designing the exhibit, Duff Eisenschenk, Designer for Paisley Park, wanted to ensure that iconic Prince elements were included in the exhibit. To highlight one such item, Eisenschenk designed the legs of the baby grand piano to be replica Cloud Guitars, one of Prince’s most iconic guitar shapes.
Stratasys first took over 250 3D scans of Prince’s Cloud Guitar and processed the scans into 3D print-ready design files. The Stratasys design team spent over 60 hours from first scan to final files ensuring that each element of the guitar could be replicated through 3D printing.
The guitars were printed on the Stratasys F900 3D printer using Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber, and the size of the F900 printer allowed the guitars to be printed in one piece, with each guitar taking over 60 hours to print. No detail was spared when finalizing the guitars; each piece included an exact replica “cloud” label printed using VeroVivid materials on the Stratasys J850.
Further, the guitars were painted and fit with actual guitar tuning nuts, bridges and strings – making them not only visually appealing, but playable as well.
“When creating new exhibits at Paisley Park it’s important to include innovative elements that will not only surprise our guests, but also leave them inspired,” said Mitch Maguire, Managing Director for Paisley Park. “We are thrilled that we were able to partner with a Minnesota-based company to create special and unique pieces that enhance this exhibit.”
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