3D-printed acoustic violin inspired by Stradivarius

October 28, 2015 // By Rich Pell
3D-printed acoustic violin inspired by Stradivarius
An open-source 3D-printed violin has the same shape and dimensions of Stradivarius violins and is said to sound comparable to its wooden counterparts.

The Hovalin 3D-printed violin was created to prove that a musical instrument's acoustic quality need not suffer simply because the instrument is constructed from 3D-printable material. This was the goal of the designers, Matt and Kaitlyn Hova, a husband and wife team with both technical and professional backgrounds.

The idea started after the couple learned about an open-source 3D printed violin kit called FFFiddle. Kaitlyn - a professional violinist, neuroscientist, and software engineer at 3D Robotics - noticed things with FFFiddle that she missed from her regular violin. With her help and feedback, Matt, who has worked in the fields of recording and electrical engineering, built upon the FFFiddle design to develop the Hovalin (hear how it sounds in the video (2:58) below).

Designed with Autodesk Fusion 360 , the Hovalin can be produced using most standard consumer 3D printers (the violin in the video above was printed entirely on a Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer ) with a total cost of raw materials of about $70. Its Polylactic acid (PLA) body comprises four parts: the neck, the top, the middle, and the bottom. Other parts - including carbon fiber rods, tuners and strings - are mostly available off the shelf.

The Hovalin 3D files and build log are available for free. DIY kits are $450, and 3D-printed parts are $300. The Hovalin can also be purchased fully assembled for $600.

Hovalin: www.hovalin.com/

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