Apr 24, 2016 | By Andre

There have been several instances over the last few years of people 3D printing functional string based violins. While most of these efforts produced decent results to be sure, they were generally produced on professional grade 3D printers. So when 3D print enthusiast Andrew Murrell posted the results of his attempt using nothing but a hobbyist grade MendelMax 3D printer to the DIY reddit forum last week, I was thoroughly impressed.

As he detailed in the thread, it was actually his third attempt at 3D printing a violin - second using the open-source Hovalin design files - but first try at truly making it look and feel like the real thing. To accomplish this impressive feat, he used ROBO3D Wood PLA as a base material, file preparation settings as suggested by the model designer Matt Hova and roughly 30 hours of 3D printing

Once 3D printed, he spent what must have been several hours perfecting it with 320 grit sandpaper to smooth away the layer lines, a cotton texturing cloth to add stain and two coats of of Shellac.

It truly is a thing of beauty but the question on everybody’s mind within the sub-reddit was how it sounded. And while he didn’t provide any evidence of his particular violin being played (on account of him being rusty) he did link to another iteration of the Hovalin being played by violinist Kaitlyn Hova.

And while some user comments on the DIY forum suggested it doesn’t have the same resonance as a real violin, Andrew suggests that it “sounds pretty good for a piece of plastic!” I would have to agree.

So what’s next for for Andrew? Well, it seems he plans to keep fine-tuning things by printing another version of the instrument. By suggesting that “changing the thickness of the print along with the materials should be netting some interesting results” all while taking feedback from others, there’s no reason to doubt that his next effort will be his best yet.

It’s always nice to learn about how creative individuals combine their passions together. The good thing about having 3D printing as a passion is that due to the open-nature of the technology, it easily matches up with just about any other passion out there in some way shape or form.

Print Specs:
Robo3D Wood PLA
Neck printing settings: .1mm layer height, 50% infill, 3 perimeters
Body printing settings: .3mm layer height, 50% infell, 2 perimeters



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Edward Simpson wrote at 4/24/2016 6:54:00 PM:

Just a note, the printer used is a MendalMax Reprap varent, not a ROBO 3D.

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