CLEVELAND — CES has become the most influential tech event in the world. The super-sized trade show was held in Las Vegas in January. Among the tech brands you would expect to see on the show floor, Cleveland’s own CWRU showed off businesses started by students and faculty.
It doesn’t look like a traditional violin. But the sounds produced hit the right notes.
“When they actually hear the instrument. Everyone is somewhere between surprised and shocked,” said the Founder of 3D Music, Matt Canel.
The artisan responsible for this unique-looking instrument, A 3D printer.
A cellist in grade school, today Canel’s passion lies in tech. His senior project at CASE: launching 3D Music, which prints instruments on demand. At the Sears Thinkbox on campus, it takes about 48 hours to print and assemble a violin, compared to the roughly 250 hours for a traditional one. 3D Music’s booth struck a chord with the CES crowd.
"That was really good feedback that people would come out of their way just to play a violin on a trade show floor when they could do thousands of other things,” said Ben Kaufman an engineer at 3D Music.
Also at the show, Folio Photonics, with its unique manufacturing of optical discs, which dramatically increases digital storage space.
"Blu-ray is typically about 125 gigabytes. Our first product, we're targeting one terabyte of data, so it's eight times more capacity and our roadmap takes it to ten terabytes," said Steve Santamaria the CEO of Folio Photonics.
Eyeing cloud storage companies, Amazon and even the Cleveland Clinic, Folio Photonics is offering a cost-effective way to handle massive data. And by the way, the company's founder is also a CASE physics professor.
"This technology is the latest example, and hopefully one of the biggest examples of, you know, world-changing products that have come out of the research at the university," stated Ken Singer the founder of Folio Photonics.
Eight companies, with roots at CASE, shared the CES spotlight.
"So, we've got all these countries represented and Case Western Reserve University," said Bob Sopko the Director of LaunchNET at Case Western Reserve University.
And the school’s participation has now hit 10 straight years.
"We felt that this was a good opportunity selfishly for these students and alumni ideas that they could kind of get out there and talk to people about what they are building," said Sopko.
"Our booth was constantly surrounded by people watching, doing video. People came, they picked them up. They tried playing them," said Canel.
As for 3D Music, violas are next. Then, maybe larger instruments, like the cello, thanks to an audience wowed at CES.
"We got a bunch of potential partnerships. We got some potential new vendors, some new 3D printing techniques, technologies," said Kaufman.
The experience is paying off. Generating more money than the cost of the Vegas trips.
But more importantly, producing connections and contacts, that are priceless.
“It was really cool”, said Sopko.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on 3News on Jan. 9, 2023.