Engineer Spotlight: Keith Pedersen’s CAD Innovations with Musical Instruments

With engineers, problem-solving is not just a job description; it’s a way of life. Keith Pedersen, a seasoned engineer in our Project Engineering Group, exemplifies this not only in his professional life but also in his passion for music. Let’s look into Keith’s journey of CAD innovation used to enhance his musical experiences.

Custom Solutions for Personal Comfort

Imagine being passionate about playing the flute, but struggling with conventional equipment due to the size and shape of your hands. This was Keith’s dilemma, until he decided to take matters into his own hands—quite literally. Faced with discomfort despite using the commercially-available “Bo-Pep” flute grip, Keith ventured into customizing his own solution. He modeled clay onto the flute, designed a custom grip, and then brought it to life through 3D printing technology. The result? A ready-to-print CAD model of a personalized flute grip tailored to his hand size and grip position, ensuring comfort and enhancing his musical performance.

3D Printing Flute Grip

3D Printed Flute Grip

Gadgets for Musical Expression

Keith’s engineering ingenuity didn’t stop there. Observing fellow musicians armed with tools and gadgets, he noticed a gap in the flute players’ arsenal. While other instrumentalists had mutes, reed cups, and spare parts, flute players lacked similar accessories. Employing tools like verniers and micrometers for precise measurements, and using scanning software for modeling existing noise-makers, Keith created his own line of miniature mutes for the flute, aptly named “Floot Moots.” He used SOLIDWORKS for design variations and a Dimension 3000 printer to create prototypes from an ABS-Polycarb alloy. His creations, including a playful “toilet-plunger” shaped mute, not only filled a gap but also added a humorous twist to musical performances.

Keith created his own line of miniature mutes for the flute

Keith created his own line of miniature mutes for the flute

Quest for Unique Musical Expression

As a versatile musician, Keith often found himself bridging the gap between flute and oboe parts in community bands. While the flute could mimic the oboe’s range and key signatures, it lacked the distinct gravelly tone and character of the double-reed instrument. This sparked Keith’s quest to create a hybrid instrument that would combine the clean, straight tone of the flute with the gravelly, snarly timbre of the oboe. His experimentations led to the development of a specialized head-joint adapter designed to alter the flute’s tone and replicate the oboe’s characteristic sound. While the project remains a work in progress due to technical challenges, Keith’s perseverance exemplifies the spirit of innovation and exploration ingrained in engineers.

CAD Innovation: Where Engineering Meets Artistry

Keith Pedersen’s story is a testament to the boundless creativity and problem-solving mindset of engineers. Whether it’s finding ergonomic solutions for personal comfort, designing gadgets for musical expression, or pushing the boundaries of musical instrument design, Keith exemplifies how engineering transcends the confines of the office and enriches every aspect of life. Through his passion for music and engineering, Keith embodies the ethos of turning challenges into opportunities and transforming imagination into reality.

Need CAD Innovation for your business?

If you have a project idea that could benefit from innovative engineering solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Project Engineering Group. Contact us today to discuss how we can support your unique challenges and transform your creative ideas into tangible results.

Riley Rudd

Riley Rudd

Riley Rudd is a Marketing Specialist for TriMech's Staff Augmentation and Project Engineering Group (PEG). Riley is currently a graduate student at Virginia Tech working toward a Master of Engineering in Computer Science, with a focus on data analytics and AI.
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