Remember the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa? Musically, this was one of the world World Cups in history. Not only was the cup’s anthem ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira received by Africans as an insult to traditional African music, also traditional African music wasn’t at its best at the time. Yes, we’re talking about the Vuvuzelas. Everyone remembers the noisy plastic horns that originated from Africa, but rapidly found their way to any corner of any street in any country – arguably except for North Korea.
And right now it’s 2014. Four years after. Are you horrified by the possibility of new instruments popping up out of nowhere? Well, you’ll probably find it good to know that you don’t have to search the internet for the best earplugs this year, as this year’s Wold Cup instrument might be a lot less noisy. Let us introduce you to the 3D printed KXX, an invention by Michel Cornelissen from Utrecht, The Netherlands. It is a 3D printed percussion ring that produces a rice-ish sound, that actually sounds like you’re on a holiday somewhere far from your own rainy country.
Got the general idea? The KXX ring is based on a traditional Brazilian instrument, called Caxixi. While this Caxixi is a basket filled with seeds, Cornelissen converted it to a plastic ring. Instead of being filled with seeds or rice, it uses plastic beads. The striking thing is that it actually gets printed in a single piece, with the beads being inside of the instrument’s design (see picture below).
The rings can be printed in different sizes which you probably expected, as they are 3D printed. This, however, means men and women can buy the ring that best suits the size of their fingers. The rings can also be printed in different colors, such as the color of your own country. Since Cornelissen is a Dutch citizen himself, he designed a special Dutch orange version.
“Since my first initiations into capoeira and Brazilian culture, I’ve been fascinated by the caxixi instruments that rattle with the sound of beads bouncing inside them,” says Cornelissen. “I find it just as fascinating that 3D printing now allows us to miniaturize this shape into a wearable ring – with the beads printed right inside them.”
Will this mean that 3D printing will find its way to this year’s Wold Cup? If so, then the Dutch designer will probably be a very rich man in a few months. Well, we’re curious about the developments, but one thing is for sure: Cornelissen has learned something from the Vuvuzelas by designing and promoting an instrument that is not annoying at all. Not convinced yet? Well, give it a listen yourself:
Image credits: Michel Cornelissen.