The future of making music: Design and engineering

(Image credit: The picture of this awesome green electric-guitar is courtsey RKS Design, Inc.)

The record industry has seen quite a few changes over the past decade. Musicians are now composing, recording, mixing and selling their own music. They use social media and web presence to build a fan following. They design their own cover art. What’s the next step? They will make their own instruments.
Of course it doesn’t stop there. Music fans are designing and making better ways to listen to music. From speakers to headphones to the study of how our ears receive and process sound–the future of music has never sounded so sweet.
But what will that future look like? And sound like? Check out our free articles and educational content below: Get inspired and learn how you can start (re)making a world of music.

Articles to read

Engineering Music

Read about the design projects created in collaboration between the music ensemble, Third Coast Percussion, and students and faculty at the University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. 



Wild Sound: Exploring new musical frontiers through engineering and DIY electronics

Learn about the full-length concert program in collaboration with the engineers at Notre Dame.

The Future of Sound

Nashville, 1965. Musical wunderkind Stephen Ambrose, 13, created an in-ear hearing device out of putty, glue, and radio parts to secretly listen to the rock music his father, a classically trained musician, forbade. Ambrose went on to invent the in-ear monitoring technology that would become today’s earbuds.

But the use of earbuds has been linked to hearing loss. So now Ambrose and Asius Technologies are leading another revolution in sound. Read the full story >> 


Asius earbud design: Image courtsey of Asius Technologies, LLC

Courses to take and projects to make

Design Academy is proud to support its members from "inspired to hired." Membership is free, and once you've signed up, you can enjoy our free educational content, including hours worth of self-paced, online course instruction.

If your more of a hobbyist, you may enjoy the electric guitar projects found on our sister website, Instructables (suggested projects listed below).

But if you're already enrolled in an educational program that's focused product design, or if you're looking to retrain for a new career in product design, you may find the Form & Ergonomics course the most helpful place to begin. If you're interested in seeing other projects and courses, let us know.

Form and Ergonomics

This course introduces you to the importance and impact of product form and ergonomics which is central to the professional practice of product and industrial design. Focusing on manufacturing for mass-production and ergonomics in design, this course explores the impact of design decisions on the mass manufacture of a new modular on-ear headphone product (pictured here).

Using Fusion 360 as the 3D CAD/CAM tool to model, test, and visualize new headphone components, you will be able to quickly generate a range of new headphone concept designs for mass manufacture. 

This project helps you create a visual landscape where performers can shine. 


This group of projects created by educators and musicians interested in exploring the territory where STEM meets the arts and design. 

Build an electric guitar

Go through a step by step process of designing and building a custom electric guitar.  


A guitar created in Fusion 360, by Łukasz Podolski: See more on this portfolio page

Guitar design sharing resource

Download guitar part models from Making+Music: a design sharing resource for musical instrument designers in the Fusion 360 Community Gallery.

A guitar tuner created in Fusion 360, by Jeremy Carter