Print out a violin
The Monastery Team recently completed a prototype of a violin crafted with printed parts and strings.
We all talk about the many applications 3DP has, and it is music to our ears to see this team creating musical instruments. This could have a succinct impact on accessibility, as standard violins start from $100-$200. That is an acceptable price for most middle class, however, children in disadvantaged areas, or 3rd world countries would find the price barrier too high to overcome. The total cost of materials for Monastery’s 3d print assisted violin? $12
Alex Davies, of the Monastery Team says the the violins could be even “cheaper now that we can make new molds out of plaster, if we wanted to do more.”
Y-Axis had the opportunity to interview Alex Davies recently. He had the following to say about this innovative project:
Our first step was to 3D print the mold. Then we laid some tinfoil over it, to keep the paper mache’ from sticking to the mold. We paper mache’d it, about 3 layers. Waited a few hours, pulled it off the mold. Then we added more layers to the now rigid paper mache’ and baked it at 200′c. Our process for building the neck involved cutting cardboard out into a neck shape, soaking them in paper mache’ and then clamping them together.
What tweaks do you still need to make?
The body of the violin is still a little weak. We’ve already got a little support beam in there, extending it another few centimeters would allow the neck to rest fully on it, and reduce the amount of flex. We also had issues with the epoxy being too flexible and making it more difficult to tune. The other factor is our 3D printed machine head (tuning peg) design. It could only move in 36 degree increments, so it would jump to one side or the other of the note we were trying to hit. The neck was also annoyingly thick, and the bridge was too high.But our main goal was to see if paper mache’ would make a good sound box, or if it would absorb all the vibrations. In that regard, it exceeded expectations.
What is your hope with this project?
The goal was pretty simple. Cheap instruments. The most expensive component right now is the work and labor. It would be nice if we could get that easy enough that anyone could do it. Possibly through selling a kit, if we get it to a point where it’s actually usable. We tried to go the same route at the source material, but we could not get the materials. Seriously, we have better access to tools but they have better access to materials. Our local dump charges insane prices for anything removed.Everything was done with stuff we had on hand. So the tool budget was probably more, but the material cost was way lower, for us anyway.We recently asked our twitter followers how 3D printing would impact youth education. If you have ideas, tweet us @YAxisMag