Pioneering organ construction: 3D-printed biocomposite pipes at Helsinki Music Hall

Helsinki Music Hall is breaking new ground with its remarkable organ project, featuring pipes crafted from an innovative biocomposite material, UPM Formi. These pipes are created using cellulose-based fibers reinforced with plastic composites, marking a unique development in organ production.

The façade pipes of this monumental organ are made from biocomposite materials via 3D printing technology. The core material is a bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) plastic, combined with cellulose fibers. Patented material consisting of cellulose, plastic and other carefully selected additives provides desirable properties for both sound quality and the manufacturing process.

From the designer's perspective, 3D printing offers endless possibilities for shaping the pipes. Some of the curved air pipes adorning the organ's façade are made from wood composites, as explained by Kaisa Näreranta, Project Manager at the Helsinki Music Centre Foundation.

This international collaboration involved UPM's Lahti factory producing the biocomposite material, which was transported to a 3D printing facility in Burgos, Spain. The pipes were subsequently sent to organ manufacturer Rieger Orgelbau in Austria for assembly and shipped in parts to Helsinki.

Helsinki Music Hall's ground-breaking use of biocomposite materials in this iconic project signifies a significant advancement in organ manufacturing, demonstrating the possibilities of sustainable materials in traditional art forms, leaving a lasting impact on the world of music and organ construction.

Picture by Music Centre Foundation / photographer Sakari Röyskö