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3D Printed Violins – An Overhyped Crescendo? – 3D Printing Industry

by • July 26, 2016 • No Comments

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From the early Rubec, to the Viol and onward to the world of the violin. This historic instrument has taken most paths to get to where it is in modern times, and the realms of 3D printing are bringing this age-old advancement to the next era.
But should 3D printing store its whirring mitts away of the violin?
That’s a thing I’ve been thinking for really a few time.
As a violinist and developer myself, I’ve been all for others attempting to take the violin that step additional into the next. It is amazingly gutsy to take a thing that has been refined for so most years and explore the possibilities of improvement or changing materials and producing methods, but I’ve been in two minds of it.
Sifting amongst Stainer and Stradivarious copies of varying qualities to find fun repair projects, it didn’t take long to find a fair few open source violin and electric violin assembling kits and finished products, that have been 3D versionled and printed in plastic (PLA or Resin).
Immediately my initially fear was the safety of these instruments. Could they stand the tension of strings? Thankfully that wasn’t a problem, as these kits and products have been tried and tested well to avoid this. The next significant point, was how may the 3D printed acoustic violins sound?

This is the Hovalin V2.0, made by Matt and Kaitlyn Hova. Looks rad does not it? Looks fairly thick, but that is pretty not a problem, the bigger the belly, the advantageous it carries lower string notes. Upon having a listen and a read, it became clear what the upsides and downsides were. The sound pretty is not bad, yet unfortunately it’s a fair few steps away of being an instrument that a pro violinist may pick initially.
The upsides to this 3D printed violin are that it’s a bit additional hardwearing, and you don’t require a pro luthier to put it together. The color of the filament won’t impact the sound either, like paint on acoustic violins can inhibit sound high end. But, the seamlines and print lines of the violin being printed in parts does affect where sound travels, and plastic (PLA) as a material is quite various to that of wood, yet printing in a wood based filament may pretty improve things.
The violin itself is in addition really quiet, yet I consider that a neutral point, especially when practising complex notes…

An older video here shows another version with a pretty excellent high end of sound, so it’s quite clear that printing violins won’t lead to a dead end, yet it’ll be a few years preceding plastic violins can be accepted into an industry and community that is well-known for upholding traditions that are hundreds of years old.
Moving onto 3D printing and electric violins.
Electric violins are fairly various to acoustic violins in a variety of ways. Instead of relying on the body to turn it into the sound, they rely on a pickup, linked to the bridge that is and so linked up to an amplifier. This means they sound various, but in addition means the creator can do a lot additional to experiment with form and material choices, as well as muscial fashion. A thoughtl opportunity to get creative!

This is the 3Dvarius. Pretty rad right?
After gaining inspiration of the Stradivarius, this intricate piece of art looks like it belongs in a gallery, let alone on the shoulder of a violinist. A lot of time and effort has in addition gone into the create of the body, which include looking at the plans utilized for producing acoustic violins.

This is the 3Dvarius, fairly rad right?
After gaining inspiration of the Stradivarius, this intricate piece of art looks like it belongs in a gallery, let alone on the shoulder of a violinist. A lot of time and effort has in addition gone into the create of the body, which include looking at the plans utilized for producing acoustic violins. They not long ago had a successful crowdfunding campaign, that raised over €53,000.

Many places have been selling this piece as on-par with a Stradivarius violin. Yes, this 3D printed electric violin looks excellent, but what makes the sound of this violin, is the pickup bridge, that is not 3D printed. It in addition is not the initially 3D printed violin either. In the video, you can hear the consequences that have been introduced to the sound too. Personally, I love a bit of electric violin with a decent amount of overdrive, but this can’t be done with only the 3D printed body. What I can’t deny of this ‘piece’ yet, is that it is particularly attractive, and well yett out.

Here’s the F-F-Fiddle
There’s other 3D printed electric violins on the market, yet this one is far additional of an interactive project, and was initially showcased on Youtube in 2014. This one has a printed bridge and a has a pickup conntected to the bridge within. This is various of the 3Dvarius, and you can hear the difference. There are a few other things that have impacted the sound high end, such as the recording of the video not being pro, and the non-3D printed equipment that it is hooked up to.
This thought of open source create, as utilized by the Hovalin group, the F-F-Fiddle allows for users to edit the 3D version to improve an personalise it. It can in addition be bought as a kit or fully assembled, in addition like the Hovalin. This has opened doors for creative folks who want to immerse themselves in the musical instrument create world but with no thought where to begin.
In conclusion, 3D printed acoustic violins are producing developers think over the possibility of various materials and methods of make, yet their development does not have Luthiers worrying of being taken over by printing devices. Electric violins yet, are enabling developers to explore with form and sound, and enabling them to 3D print various shapes, so long as they are ergonomically viable for a violinist. The secret to their high end of sound, lies mostly with the high end of bridge, pickup and other electronic kit that the electric violin is hooked up to.
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