Modular Violin Takes A Bow

They say the only difference between a violin and a fiddle is the way you play it. If that’s so, this modular violin will need a new name, since it can be broken apart and changed in ways that make it sound completely different, all within a few minutes.

The fiddle is the work of [David Perry] and has 3D printed body, neck, pegbox, and bridge. While it might seem useful on the surface as a way to get less expensive instruments out in the world where virtually anyone has access to them, the real interesting qualities are shown when [David] starts playing all of the different versions he’s created. The sound changes in noticeable ways depending on the style of print, type of plastic used, and many other qualities.

Of course you will need a bow, strings, pegs, and a fingerboard, but the rest is all available if you have a 3D printer around. If you’re already a skilled violinist this could be a very affordable way to experiment with new sounds. It’s not the first time we’ve seen 3D printed violins, but it is the first time we’ve seen them designed specifically to alter the way they sound rather than their physical characteristics. If you want to make your own, all of the .stl files are available on the project’s site.

10 thoughts on “Modular Violin Takes A Bow

    1. That is not at all like a violin. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t see anything about the way it’s played that’s anything like a violin. The ability to play it resting on the shoulder isn’t enough.

      1. Yeah, the purple one sounds very much like an unamplified electric violin. In the longer video in the linked hackaday.io page [David] says the reason for its lack of resonance is the multi-segment construction of the front and back pieces. Printed in that way due to the small size of whatever 3D printer bed they’re using.

        1. Thanks, y’all!!!!

          Yes, the multi-segment construction is one aspect of the sound of the Hovalin. Even if the plates are glued together, though, the top and bottom plates are rigidly connected at the joints. In addition, the bridge and tailpiece are large parts integrated into the top plate. So there’s just no freedom for the top plate to vibrate.

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