Researchers 3D-print low-cost and durable violins for music students

"Our goals were to explore the new sound world created by using new materials"
Nergis Firtina
Mary-Elizabeth Brown rehearses Harry Stafylakis’ concerto "Singularity" on an early iteration of the 3D-printed violin.
Mary-Elizabeth Brown rehearses Harry Stafylakis’ concerto "Singularity" on an early iteration of the 3D-printed violin.

Shawn Peters 

Only musicians can understand how grueling and challenging it is to play the violin. Violins, even mediocre ones, are worth thousands of dollars. Good news for music students and beginners, they will meet with low-cost and durable 3D-printed violins thanks to The Acoustical Society of America's AVIVA Young Artists Program.

As stated in the release, today in Nashville, Mary-Elizabeth Brown, director of the AVIVA Young Artists Program discussed the steps taken and the lessons learned in her presentation, "Old meets new: 3D printing and the art of violin-making."

"The team's inspiration roots in multiple places," said Brown. "Our goals were to explore the new sound world created by using new materials, to leverage the new technology being used in other disciplines, and to make music education sustainable and accessible through the printing of more durable instruments."

How was it produced?

The violin was built in two pieces using 3D printing. The neck and fingerboard are printed in smooth ABS plastic to provide a comfortable grip for the musicians, while the violin's body is comprised of a plastic polymer substance, much like a typical acoustic violin, and engineered to generate a resonant tone. The outcome is a violin that sounds darker and mellower than traditionally built violins.

"The next step is to explore design modifications as well as efforts to lower the costs of production while making such instruments more widely available, especially in the realm of education," said Brown.

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Researchers 3D-print low-cost and durable violins for music students
3D-printed violins are cheapter than regular ones.

Instruments made by using 3D-printer

Violins are not the only instruments that are manufactured through 3D-printing technology. Many instruments have been produced with a 3D printer before, and effective results have been obtained from many of them.

Professor Olaf Diegel from Australia is highly recognized for his 3D printing projects on social media and YouTube, which include ventilators, guitars, saxophones, and other instruments.

On the other hand, musician Jomalier Figueroa made his own 3D-printed baroque flute.

About The Acoustical Society of America

The leading international scientific society for acoustics, the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is devoted to the study of sound science and technology. ıts 7,000 members worldwide cover a wide range of acoustics research.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, the foremost journal in the field of acoustics, JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Acoustics Meetings, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and acoustics standards are among the publications produced by the ASA. Additionally, the society hosts two significant scientific meetings yearly.