Jan 5, 2016 | By Alec

Over the past few years, we’ve seen plenty of fantastic examples of what 3D printing can do when placed in the hands of musicians, but few have been as impressive as the 3D printed Hovalin violin we reported on back in October. While that violin already sounded, in a single word, amazing, the husband and wife team behind the Hovalin are now back with their second generation, in an attempt to deal with some structural issues and to simply optimize the design of this 3D printed instrument.

As you might recall, the original Hovalin was designed by husband and wife Kaitlyn and Matt Hova, who shared it as a an open source 3D printing project and encouraged everyone to build their own version. It originally grew out of an unhappiness with existing open source instruments you can 3D print at home. Husband Matt is a former record producer and electrical engineer who works over at AutoDesk, while his wife Kaitlyn is a professional violinist, Neuroscientist, and software engineer at 3D Robotics, so they had all the right know-how for the job.


As they explain on their website, the Hovalin project was never really done and they were simply itching to reach the next step in the design’s evolution. “Over the past few months, I've had a blast redesigning the violin from scratch in Fusion 360. We've learned a lot of new tricks and gotten some pro advice from co-workers and friends,” says Matt.

Thanks to these improvements, it will now be easier to insert the truss rods that hold the neck together, while the violin body now has a constant thickness. A fishman pickup can now also be added to the bridge, while the spacing between the tuning pegs has been optimized. If you want, you can now also easily modify the neck length. “As for the future of the Hovalin, there are still a ton of ways that the design can be improved. Most notably, we're beginning work on 1/2 and 1/4 sized models in order to make it possible to introduce the Hovalin into school music programs,” Matt adds, but this second generation is already impressive as it is.

If you’re interested, you can download the new files from The Hovalin's GitHub page. It can be 3D printed on most desktop 3D printers – they mention the Ultimaker 2, Makerbot Replicator 2 as examples. The neck is a single piece, while the body consists of three separate sections. While you will need a few other components, this custom violin can be yours for around $60. Like its predecessor, it is open source, released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. The real question, of course, is how it sounds, but answer that yourself with the help from the clip below.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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