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henry hanson unveils his latest musical instrument, the wood bugle cube

Wood Bugle Cube by henry hanson 


Following his Concrete Cube Trumpet project, designer Henry Hanson returns with the Wood Bugle Cube, created as a fully functional brass musical instrument without looking like one. ‘While the shape and material do not evoke a musical instrument in any way, both function and sound are nearly indistinguishable from a traditional bugle,’ shares Hanson. 

wooden bugle cube 1

wood bugle cube 



building the instrument from 3D cad model templates 


Henry Hanson (see more here) describes the Wood Bugle Cube as ‘an exercise in transferring a complicated volume with over-closures from a 3D drawing to a new medium.’ To elaborate, the designer used 20 layers of 9 mm thick birch plywood, carved individually following templates generated from a CAD model that represents the inside of a bugle. 


Specifically, he coiled the 3D model to fit within the wooden cube before slicing it to make a series of 2D templates representing the tube cross-sections on each side of the wooden pieces. Those sections ultimately served as guiding lines for carving. 

wooden bugle cube 2

the object functions as a brass musical instrument without looking like one



The final sanding was done in adjacent layer pairs to keep the interfaces smooth. Hanson then sealed the inner tube wall and bonded each layer sequentially with an extra coat of sealant to improve moisture resistance.‘In a ‘brass’ instrument, the main sound comes from vibrations at the lips and in the air, not from the material itself. The material and construction are only responsible for the warmth, brightness, timbre, and other fine characteristics. Moreover, the instrument will generally still sound like a trumpet or bugle if the tube length and diameter are maintained. Compared to the concrete cube, or a standard brass version, this wooden version sounds warmer and softer,’ writes Hanson. 

wooden bugle cube 3

wooden bugle cube 7

wooden bugle cube 5the cube was shaped based on a 3D CAD model

wooden bugle cube 6

hanson used 20 layers of 9 mm thick birch plywood to design the instrument







project info:


name: Wood Bugle Cube
design Henry Hanson



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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