You've probably heard of a 3D printed gun. But what you haven't heard of is a 3D printed gun from the 1700's. While we didn't exactly do that, we did 3D print a part of the internal mechanism for a prop flintlock pistol to make it "fire" on stage.
We have manufactured a part and modified a pair of flintlock pistols which will be used in the upcoming Garsington Opera production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's adaption of Alexander Pushkin's verse epic, Eugene Onegin.
How do they work without actually shooting anybody? The firing circuits are radio controlled to enable connected pyrotechnics within the gun to simulate the firing of a flintlock pistol.
We have 3D printed a part that fits inside the pistol and secures the firing circuits, enabling a successful use of the prop.
The firing of the pistols is an essential part in the opera, which tells the tale of the eponymous hero Eugene Onegin. In this story, Olga is engaged to the poet Lensky, while her sister Tatyana is a single dreamer. Lensky, while visiting Olga, brings his friend Eugene Onegin. Tatyana falls in love with Eugene, but he rejects her. At a ball the next night, Onegin, enraged by the party, dances with Olga, enraging Lensky, who challenges his friend to a duel - hence the need for the pistol props!
Onegin accepts, and kills his friend in the duel, before exiling himself for 6 years. After this exile is passed, he returns to St. Petersburg, and meets Prince Gremin - now married to Tatyana. Eugene falls in love with her, but she rejects him as he did to her 6 years ago.