Store

How world’s first 3D printed violin sounds

French musician and engineer Laurent Bernadac realises world’s first electric violin with a 3D printer.

Laurent Bernadac is a mechanical engineer and professional musician. After graduating at the Conservatoire de Toulouse, he decided to combine his passion for engineering and music to create world’s first 3D printed electric violin.

Inspired in prestigious Stradivari violins, that were built between late 1600 and early 1700, 3Dvarius is a hybrid violin: its body is in plastic and was printed using stereolithography, while its strings and pegs were taken from a traditional guitar. It looks like an object coming from the future, yet it belongs to the present. Bernadac defines it as “a new type of musical instrument” for its algorithmically optimized weight and digital sound.

It took the inventor three years to create an instrument that is not only playable but even enjoyable. Light and resistant even during the stringing phase that must be done with precision and care, this violin allows to have more fluid movements on the stage so much so “to almost forget that you are holding a violin”, says Bernadac.

 

Looking for a perfect fusion of music and the instrument, the clever French inventor first tried to create an aluminium prototype, but he then realised that it was too difficult to manipulate; at a later stage, he tried to use acrylic glass but due to glued components the sound was deadened. But, after seeing the good results obtained with some acoustic models he finally opted for a material made of translucent resin and chose to use a 3D printer.

So far, only a violin has been realised with this technique and it has been called Pauline. It took a week to create it and 10,000 euros. 3Dvarius pledges to combine the precision of rendering with luthiers’ abilities.

 

Its sound is as close to that of a traditional violin as ever: also the most traditional violinist can be tantalised. Also because 3Dvarius’ design, once perfected, will be available as digital model for those who want to download and print it.

Translated by

Related articles