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Woody2552

Full Size Acoustic Violin

by Woody2552 Aug 25, 2018
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Impressive! Very! Sound is even nice. Have you considered putting in an electric pick up or did I miss it?

It was very much my intention from the start of the project to not use an electric pickup. There are already a ton of electric violins on thingiverse, and I wanted to add something different. On the pro side, this was convenient because I don't have to mess around with my computer, or other electronics and software. Con is that more care has to be taken in the construction, but I think that made it more challenging & interesting.

I was surprised by the sound quality myself. I think there's still a lot of room for improvements through design, and construction. The violin model is decent, but a much better quality violin could be made if it was designed from scratch. I also don't know a lot about violin construction, and I got a lot of criticism from a Luther.

For some reason your replay is flagged for moderation or mine is,
Either way, you did a great job. I like the smooth finish so much I have even the toilet paper roll holders I have printed soaking in fumes so they will be shinny and smooth.
You know, I have seen some filament that has wood in it. WOW, what an idea if it print good. I have also seen carbon fiber, would be an interesting look.

I do more tool/ machine oriented things. I made an 'engine' if you want to call it that, that runs a gasoline engine mostly on water, I bought my printer to do the prototyping for the engine. Just about .// 99% is for prototyping. Pleasure but not the same pleasure of making something I can show off or even talk much about. I will prototype items that part will be made in one part of the world and then another part in a different place so no one knows what we are putting together. Maybe that is why I liked your work so much, mine is WORK...
Okay, keep up the good work, I bought a flute also, a Gemeinhardt, would be interesting to print one, a nice one. With the exception of the rods for the pads I think it could be done nicely. Bet it would sound interesting to say the least. Take care. Great work. Hope your skills will turn in to money making for you. Hands are an interesting thing. Wire controlled, magnetically controlled with pressure sensitive pads with feed back so you don't break the egg. With full hand grasp. Just a thought for you.
George

I think it flagged me because I made about 4 edits for small typos. If you check your email inbox, it should have an original, but I'll reanswer starting with the older comment.

Reply 1

"I just bought a 4x4 violin."

Are you learning to play? Or were you planning to take its parts? If it's your first, I hope you didn't spend much.

"I print with ABS, I don't recall what you printed with."

Almost everything I print is PLA.

"The only, ONLY thing that caught my eye was the ridges on the face. I don't know if they are intentional and part of the "art of the deal" (art being the keyword) or using something other then ABS and not having an option."

I printed in that orientation because it was the most reliable. If you printed the plate-halves vertically, the lines would actually be more true to a violins wood grain pattern, and it would be better for vapor-smoothing. Even though the ridges aren't technically accurate, I do kind of enjoy the aesthetic. Most other people also think it makes it look wooden, but they also don't know real violin grain patterns.

"I KNOW about ABS warping and how hard it would be to print something at that size."

Yeah I agree it would be difficult. I avoid ABS because it's so much hassle. When I want something with ABS properties, I usually use PETG, except it can't be vapor-smoothed, as far as a I know.

" I understand the electronic. I have plugged my guitar in maybe 10 times in 10 years. Just like the option. I would not know where to place the pickup to get the best vibrations. It would be a lot of work or having a way to take the sound box apart and put it back together and I don't think that is possible."

External pickup mics already exist for wooden violins. You'd want it positioned to be picking up the sound coming out the f-holes. It could be clipped on the bridge. No need to take apart the body. As far as electric instrument building, I don't know much about them and can't really help with that. But if you want an electric violin, you can remove the acoustic body entirely.

"I think you did a fantastic job, I know how much work goes in to something like that and actually finishing it."

Thank you! it was a fun project and I always feel flattered by comments like these.

"My print bed is not big enough to even start that. 24 CMx 16CM , 15.5 CM"

For almost all the parts, this should be enough. The ribs (Sides of the acoustic body) are pretty big, but you should be able to cut things down. If you can't cut files in your slicer, let me know and I'll do it for you.

"For the face and the back, how many layers(walls) did you use and how much infill (if any) and what design."

I used my Prusa Slic3r default settings. So 2 perimeters, 20% infill, and cubic geometry. The only thing I changed was that I made the temperature 235C, but that was with PLA, i wouldn't know what to do for ABS. Layer-bonding is important for a build like this.

Other thing I like to remind people about for this project is that if you do build the violin, you have to loosen the strings when you're done playing, unlike wooden violins. Not dangling loose, but most of the tension needs to be taken out. Thermoplastics aren't perfectly solid at any temperature. Over long periods of time, the stress of the string will cause warping, and things like the tail-piece will snap. This happened to me 1-month after I finished my build, and to another builder.

Reply 2

"You know, I have seen some filament that has wood in it. WOW, what an idea if it print good. I have also seen carbon fiber, would be an interesting look."

Wood filament is cool as a style, but I would stay away from it in a project like this. It might work, but I'd worry that it would be too weak. I just don't think any of the material properties of wood-fill are any better than PLA, other than maybe density. I DO really want to see a carbon fiber filament violin. It should have a lower density, higher strength, and higher stiffness; all three being beneficial material properties to this project.

"I do more tool/ machine oriented things. I made an 'engine' if you want to call it that, that runs a gasoline engine mostly on water, I bought my printer to do the prototyping for the engine."

That's pretty cool! Any videos? I've wanted more machines for myself, but don't have the funds yet. I also wanted my printer for prototyping stuff. It irritates me that knickknacks seem to consume most of the 3D printing community, but I saw the violin as a fun challenge and something semi-practical.

"I bought a flute also, a Gemeinhardt, would be interesting to print one"

I'd love to see it if you do.

"Great work. Hope your skills will turn in to money making for you. Hands are an interesting thing."

Thank you! I wish you well in your endeavors.

I just bought a 4x4 violin. I print with ABS, I don't recall what you printed with. The only thing I can say is with my ABS prints I 'soak' them in the fumes of Acetone. I have several different metal containers that I put a rag soaked with acetone (soaked means, sometimes several table spoons or drops) and I use a timer. Generally no more then 35 minutes. Sometimes sanding or a small file set. The only, ONLY thing that caught my eye was the ridges on the face. I don't know if they are intentional and part of the "art of the deal" (art being the keyword) or using something other then ABS and not having an option. I KNOW about ABS warping and how hard it would be to print something at that size. I think / from my art concepts, a ABS/ BLACK, smooth and shinny, WOW, !!! I understand the electronic. I have plugged my guitar in maybe 10 times in 10 years. Just like the option. I would not know where to place the pickup to get the best vibrations. It would be a lot of work or having a way to take the sound box apart and put it back together and I don't think that is possible. If it were me, I do not have the skill to make a clip together tight enough to carry the vibrations without screwing them up. I think you did a fantastic job, I know how much work goes in to something like that and actually finishing it. My print bed is not big enough to even start that. 24 CMx 16CM , 15.5 CM, just don't have the room or I would give it a try in ABS and see if I can put my work where my mouth is at...LOL For the face and the back, how many layers(walls) did you use and how much infill (if any) and what design. Sorry if you already said, I don't remember. Great Work!

Comments deleted.

Hi, thanks for sharing the design.
I know you are struggling with time on this project but maybe in the future could you try shifting the asymmetric back board over. Currently looks symmetric.
By the way i watched through the video and learned lots!

Sorry, I didn't see this comment earlier. I'm not exactly sure what you mean about the back plate?

I didn't think there was much to learn from the video, it's so short. I meant to make a more in depth video, but keep putting it off.

Thanks for the cool models and photos! I have no idea what I am doing, but I have built a 1/8 size violin with them and it is surprisingly playable.

Comments deleted.

Thanks for this great model! I am about to start printing it on my Prusa MK3, but just wanted to make sure what is the printing settings that you used for the neck. I am thinking of using 2 or even perimeters and 40% Gyroid infill. Do you think it would be strong enough to prevent bending after certain time?

I think (not 100% certain), I just used default settings on the neck. So 2 perimeters, 20% infill, cubic. Your settings should certainly be strong enough.

As for over time? If the violin is kept cold, yeah, but no amount of infill will stop warping under string tension if the plastic warms up. Best bet is to just loosen the strings when not using it.

Thanks for the response. Here are a few comments / observations (sorry about the repost, but I stupidly deleted my comment while editing):

  1. The fingerboard can be printed as a single piece on a Prusa printer, rotated ~50° around Z axis.
  2. It would be better to make a hollow for mounting the tailpiece gut, such as in the included file violin-tailpieceV2.stl, rather than drilling holes in the tailpiece after printing.
  3. There is a hollow between the upper and the lower fret on your tailpiece, resulting the two hanging in midair and introducing a critical breaking line. Unless there is a specific reason for that, I am attaching the fixed violin-tailpieceV3.stl file with the hollow between the frets filled, and a tailpiece gut mounting hollow as described above).
  4. Pegs will be stronger if printed horizontally rather then vertically, but it requires some sanding afterwards.
  5. Sanding the inside of the body might improve the sound, and sanding and polishing the whole violin on the outside will make it more appealing.
  6. Tail knob should be made as a removable peg, and the hole where it sits should be inside a bottom reinforcement block. When the knob is removed, the hole is used to peek inside to make the soundpost positioning easier. See the attached SideV2.stl and tail-knobV2.stl. The knob and the peg should be printed with 100% infill (or many perimeters so the complete infill is ensured), and the two should be glued together. You could also put a 2-3 mm thick nail in the middle of the peg+knob to ensure the strength.
  7. Soundpost top and bottom should should not be cut flat, but should rather follow curvature of the body.

BTW, what do you think about the gyroid infill versus the standard grid infill? I am printing mine with the gyroid, so I'll post more details when it's done.

Damn, you must be really handy with MeshMixer?

  1. Not a major difference, but having the printer make the hole would be more accurate. Having a traditional tailpiece-pin will help with the sound-post placement, but I felt I could do a decent enough job without it.
  2. I'm not sure what you mean by critical breaking line. I opted to just drill through the tail and wrap a copper wire. I tried plastic mounts, but they couldn't handle the stress. Even some braided Ethernet wires snapped on me.
  3. This is true. Although I print my PLA at 235 C, so I get very good adhesion and I was more concerned about the aesthetics of the pegs.
  4. I recommend sanding the inside. I don't know if it does much for sound, but it is more pleasing to look at and touch. Plus, you don't want a rough surface if you will be sliding in the sound-post. Although it's not much, any reduced weight helps.
  5. I think this is more a matter of preference. If I made another violin, I would still opt to do it my way as it's simple and uses less material, but yours is interesting. I'll add the files. If you make a derivative, I'll delete them off mine to give you the traffic. I would try to avoid glue making this violin. Super glue isn't strong enough. PLA glue is, but most people don't have that. I melted my seams together with a soldering iron.
  6. This is true, but you can only be so precise when working on a plastic violin. No two 3D printed violins will be exactly the same as they will be put together by hand, and cutting plastic is more difficult than cutting wood. Additionally, the plastic loves to slip more than wood.

I haven't used gyroid much. Cubic is my default. I've heard cubic and gyroid are about the same in material usage and strength, but gyroid, in theory, should be a better infill.

Hi, MasterChief! I have just added my remix of your great model here https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3183148. I've tweaked it so it perfectly matches the specs, and I must say, it sounds quite OK for a printed violin.

Acoustic Violin 4/4 - Stridivarius Fiddle

Thanks! Here are some of my further notes / observations (the violin is still printing, so I didn't get to test it yet, but I'll surely let you know about the results):

  1. On a Prusa printer the fingerboard can be printed as a single piece rotated at ~50°.
  2. Instead of drilling holes for the tailpiece gut, I would prefer something like this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:318526, or the attached file (violin-tailpieceV2.stl) that is just your part modified as described (not printed yet)
  3. Your tailpiece has two frets (the top and the bottom one) that hang in midair, and the space between them is hollow. Is there a specific reason for that? I have included a fixed version violin-tailpieceV3.stl (filled space between the frets, plus tailpiece gut mounting hollow).
  4. Printing pegs horizontally would make them stronger, but then you have to sand them.
  5. Sanding the body, especially on the inside, might improve resonance, while sanding and polishing the whole violin on the outside would make it aesthetically more appealing.
  6. Tail knob should be removable, so the hole where it sits can be used for peeking when you are adjusting the soundpost.
  7. Soundpost should not be cut at 90°, it is much better when it follows the curvature of the body.

Finally, what do you think of gyroid infill instead of the regular grid? I am printing this with gyroid to hear how it sounds.

Violin Tailpiece
by mmassie

I totally dig the fact that you also printed bridge and pegs. Yeah, when printing, we are printing!

I actually made few violins - but using the regular method - wood and chisels. I also made an electric violin.

A good option would be to put a carbon fibre or metal rod through the neck and the body to stiffen it. The strings will eventually bend the plastic and make it unplayable.

"The strings will eventually bend the plastic and make it unplayable."

I left it under full tension for about 2 months, and there was no noticeable warping, amazingly, but you are right, eventually it should warp. My plan is just to loosen it when I'm not playing it. I was going to have to retune it every time I play anyway.

"I actually made few violins"

I haven't made any wooden violins, so you'll inevitably to a better job than I did, but I need to warn you, it's not exactly like a normal violin. The shapes of piece, like the ribs and belly, aren't exactly right. The back of the neck is too short for the whole distance of the violin. Rather than glue (I did use liberal amounts of super glue), I melted seams together with a soldering iron. If you own PLA glue like 3D gloop, it should be strong enough, but it's rare stuff to come by. I don't have any myself, but I have some ordered. Bonds are much more permanent. Sometimes adding extra pieces of filament to add material reinforcement is necessary for strength, or too fill in gaps left by the soldering iron. It is also missing some pieces a normal violin would have, like blocks in the ribs/waist. The sound post does go in like normal, but it's very difficult and you'll have to trim it to the right length. Due to your comment, I'm going to upload some more pictures.

When you're done, please upload so I can see it.

Rather then using a soldering iron, I bought a MYNT3D 3D pen (google it, there are dozens of more than usable clones). I bought mine for $45 at a local store.

You know sometimes a good old bolt to join neck and body (just like in acc. guitars) is not bad idea instead of messing with glues. When I will have time, I will try to design something out of this that can be an industrial grade :-) I am just not good in compound curves in fussion 3d....I gues it would be best to use rhino or something like that.

Comments deleted.

I don't play violin but I always wanted to learn how to play the Angel theme song on one. Wasn't worth the cost of purchase or lessons for one song though. This seems like a nice little project. I have a bunch of wood filament, do you think this would be better or worse than PLA sound-wise?

I don't have a definite answer, but my bet is that woodfill would be better than plain PLA. Not because of the wood being wood, but by the lower density. Although I think the difference in sound would be negligible. I'm not sure if a woodfill neck would be able to handle the stress. It doesn't really hurt to try because if something breaks, you can just reprint it. Just make sure the strings wont whip you in the face if it does pop (Not that it happened to me, but I've heard stories about tuning violins gone bad).

If you do pursue this project, I would do so for novelty rather than a cheap violin. If you just want a cheap, junky violin, there are plenty from China.

I'm so impressed with the sound quality you're able to get out of it. I would never have guessed that a plastic violin could sound that good.

Same, I had no idea what to expect.

If you continue to design and update this will you ever make an assembly video? This is an amazing project and im interested in printing it. Im just scared of not doing it right. I did play the violin and i'm descent but I don"t know the ins and outs of them.

I thought of this after i posted. If you were interested and had the time maybe you could make an instructables page about it.

I do plan to make another in depth video. I'd like to modify more stuff, but I school and other stuff in taking much more of my time. Unlikely I will build another, but I did take pictures of the build process. Maybe an instructibles too, but it would take me awhile to get around to it.

The antenna is called a short backfire or sometimes cantenna.
Front and rear reflectors make a resonant structure, a small driven element powers the thing.
The driven element, in violin terms, would be a cross between the bridge and the sound-post.
A slight asymmetry [off-center reflector and/or driven element] allows the antenna to have a fairly wide bandwidth, despite having a distinct resonant frequency of its own.
Since the antenna is essentially a leaky wave-guide, it's output coupling is very efficient.
Much like the wide range and volume of a violin... I love this stuff!

There are antennas that feature a pair of resonant structures that are tightly coupled but just a tiny bit out of phase.
The result is an antenna with a very wide frequency response, very low noise and distortion, and efficient coupling of energy to and from the antenna.
Gee, sort of like the upper and lower decks of a violin, with the post between as the cross-coupler.
BTW, every time I look at that bridge, all I see is a network of cross-coupled band-pass and band-stop filters!
Thank you Sir, you gave this retired engineer something real to play with!

That does sound very similar. I'll look into those antennas.

Glad you're excited, and good luck from an aspiring engineer. I'll be here for any questions.

Thanks for the reply.
A short list of Q's, if you don't mind?
Materials: I am guessing that 'one size fits all' doesn't apply? PLA is going to sound 'hard', I think. Depending on part, what do you recommend.
My interest in violins goes back to something I saw: a guy was 'trimming' cheap violins to give them a proper voice.
Thinning the upper and lower plates in select areas, re-mounting and thinning or thickening the post, modifications to the bridge, changing the 'f' holes [not sure of the proper term],new lacquer, stuff like that.
I was studying antenna theory at the time, and ZING!
Violins and some types of high-power radar antennas are the same darn thing, just a few octaves apart.

I am guessing that 'one size fits all' doesn't apply? PLA is going to sound 'hard', I think. Depending on part, what do you recommend.

I used PLA because I had a lot. I originally didn't put much thought into the project. Softer materials like ABS would probably be bad (Imagine a TPU violin?). Denser plastics will cause inertial dampening. The best material you could use would be light and stiff.

PLA will work fine. If you're interested in continuing where I left-off, I'd really like to see a Carbon-Fiber-PLA violin, or a Polycarbonate violin. Both would be expensive and difficult. Hence another reason why I never perused them.

A third reason I never continued testing sound quality is that I would need to reprint whole other PLA violin because the one I made wasn't quite as precise as it could have been. My planned project would require me to make 3-4 violins, and considering one took me a whole 3 months of vacation, that's just too much of my personal resources.

My interest in violins goes back to something I saw: a guy was 'trimming' cheap violins to give them a proper voice.
Thinning the upper and lower plates in select areas, re-mounting and thinning or thickening the post, modifications to the bridge, changing the 'f' holes [not sure of the proper term],new lacquer, stuff like that.

This is exactly the kind of stuff this violin needs. Although with plastic violins, I do not think lacquer is necessary.

Violins and some types of high-power radar antennas are the same darn thing, just a few octaves apart.

Interesting. I don't understand the antenna aspect other than sound waves and light waves propagating in a similar bubble shape. The most interesting thing to me is how the violin is similar to a really-fast lung, or a natural speaker. Here was an interesting link

"I'd really like to see a Carbon-Fiber-PLA violin" - Challenge accepted!

My 9 yr old daughter just started violin and loves 3D printing, this will be a good project for us.

I have a bunch of CF PLA on the way for another project, I'm sure I'll have enough for this also. I may even make two, an all CF version and another with CF neck/tailpiece and wood PLA body/bridge.

If you want to put in the sound post the old fashioned way, look for the stick with a star on it. I used a heat gun to shape it. Also used floss. If I make a second video, it will have more details.

My bet is that after you make one violin, you will find that to be enough.

Please share the make so I see it!

I have been looking/waiting for this!
I don't play yet, but I have a deep interest in resonant structures, energy coupling and harmonics.
Yeah, radio-electronic technician is gonna make a fiddle!

I really wanted to continue this project and make another violin, but I just don't have enough time. I plan to upload a sound-post with a fixed length.

If you make one and have good 3D modeling skills, the ribs plates need thinning. When printing, the less material, the better. More mass means more inertial dampening. But working with plastic is tough because violins are under a lot of stress (50-80 lbs)!