Many of hobbyists and maker have tried their hands in 3D printing a functional string based violin. Many of these attempts were satisfactory even though they were created and printed on professional grade 3D printers. Most recently a 3D print enthusiast Andrew Murrell attempted for same and posted his results, the only difference being he used his hobbyist grade MendelMax 3D printer to the DIY reddit forum a week ago. Artists and makers were inspired and really impressed by his attempt of work.
It was his third attempt at 3D printing, the second one was using a open source Hovalin design files, but it was the first attempt in truly make its look and feel more realistic. Murrell used the ROBO 3D Wood PLA as the base material to achieve the impressive look of the violin. All the file preparing were as suggested by Matt Hova and the process took a rough 30 hours of printing.
After the printing is completed he spent several hours to make the model perfect with 320 grit sandpaper to make the surface smooth while removing the layered lines, a cotton texturing cloth to add stain and two coats of Shellac. The step was the ultimate way to give the 3D printed violin model it's real and elegant look.
There were at all no flaws in the beauty of the violin but the ultimate question was whether did it sound like an actual violin or not. He did not provide any demo of his 3D printed violin being played but he did have the iteration of Hovalin being played by Violinist Kaitlyn Hova. Although some of the uses comment on the DIY forum that it doesn’t replicate the actual violin, Andrew believes it “sounds pretty good for a piece of plastic!”
Further Andrew is planning to upgrade the design of his 3D printed violin and enhance the tuning things with another version of the instrument. He suggests," changing the thickness of the print along with the materials should be netting some interesting results” and at the same time will work on the feedback given by people. With all the efforts his next model will surely be stunning and the best one until now.
Such kind of projects inspire and encourage individuals to combine their skills and passions together. The best part 3D printing being the nature of the technology that can be paired up along with any passion out there in any shape or form. This particular project of Andrew will have inspired many hobbyists and makers to take up 3D printing technology as an option to enhance their passions.