Composite Engineering carbon fibre component design and engineering

Grant assisted project

Ground - braking composite musical instrument

Project established the viability of manufacturing a musical instrument from carbon fibre composite materials.

Bryan Maynard a master musical instrument maker and orchestral musician has developed, over a two year period the ‘Celtic Bass’.

This instrument combines the power of an electric bass guitar with the versatility of the orchestral Double Bass, but without the cumbersome weight and size of either.

A prototype instrument has been exhibited at the Frankfurt World Music Fair, receiving considerable interest and enthusiastic comment from players and dealers alike.

Not wishing to have these instruments manufactured in the Far East and being interested in exploring the possibility of manufacturing the instrument from composite materials here in the UK, Bryan contacted us to see if we could help.

We not only assisted Bryan with the technical aspects of the project, we secured grant support for both a Product and Process review and a Feasibility Study.


Product and Process review

During this phase of the project we worked alongside Bryan to further develop the design of the instrument to enable it to be produced from carbon fibre composites as efficiently as possible and to enable volume production at relatively low cost.

As Bryan was based some distance away from ourselves we developed an interactive 3D CAD model of the instrument. This enabled Bryan and ourselves to develop the design and construction of the instrument in 'real-time'.

A concept instrument was developed empirically from carbon fibre composites and various manufacturing technologies were investigated, along with costing's to assess both design and manufacturing iterations.

A final report was presented to Bryan illustrating that his instrument could benefit substantially from the application of composite materials and that this manufacturing route presented a commercially-sound proposition..


Feasibility Study

Following on we then mounted a further study, this involved the development of a final instrument model and construction specifications. Additionally a detailed appraisal was carried out into the various practical and commercial steps necessary to put the instrument into production.

The scope of work carried out during this phase of the project included:

  • A low-cost prototype instrument was constructed
  • The design was refined further in 3D CAD
  • Material specifications and construction of the instrument was finalized
  • A suitable manufacturing process was designed and developed conceptually
  • Potential subcontractors were found and asked to supply costing's for various component parts of the manufacturing process
  • Costing's were developed for a production run of instruments
  • Subsequently, analysis of quotations and costing's was carried out

Conclusion

The project is now working towards bringing this ground-braking instrument to the musical instrument market, and to achieve this goal Bryan is currently discussing the project with interested investors who can help to put the instrument into mass production.