A good violin costs many thousands of euros, millions in some cases. A normal one already exceeds a thousand euros, which makes it very expensive to learn to play the instrument.
3D printing can help prevent that by printing durable and cheaper violins specially designed for music students.
To demonstrate this, the AVIVA Young Artists Program has organized a concert composed specifically for 3D printed instruments. Its director, Mary-Elizabeth Brown, commented:
The team’s inspiration is found in multiple places. Our goals were to explore the new world of sound created through the use of new materials, take advantage of new technology being used in other disciplines, and make music education sustainable and accessible by printing more durable instruments.
The concert was held yesterday, December 6, at the 183rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel, and was a huge success.
What were 3D printed violins like?
The 3D printed violin was created in two parts.
On the one hand we have the body, made with a plastic polymer material, in the same way as a traditional acoustic violin, and designed to produce a resonant tone. On the other hand we have the neck and fingerboard, printed in soft ABS plastic to make it comfortable in the hands of the musician.
The result produces a darker and softer sound than traditional instruments, something that can be modified by changing the design.
Production costs can also vary depending on the printing technique used, so they believe that soon they will be able to print many for students who cannot afford a traditional one.