The 3D printed replica of a Stradivarius violin
When 3D printing is at the service of music, one gets musical that goes beyond our expectations.
After 2 years of ongoing work, the project ViolinoDigitale was created. It aims at merging 3D printing with traditional techniques of making violins.
Harry Matzardis, founder of the project, was inspired by the original Stradivarius violin created in 1677 by Antonio Stradivari, to reproduce the 3D printed replica.
For the construction of the violin’s body, “instead of just printing ‘ready to be used’ 3D items, the parts come out of the machine in a ‘primitive form’ and then hundreds of man hours and “traditional” specialty knowledge are utilized to create a handcrafted item of art.”
A RepRap FDM 3D printer with a wood filament was used to print the 40 individual parts that constitute the violin. The black decorative patterns are recreated using traditional methods and pegs, ebony fingerboard, bridge and endpin are made from real wood.
Once these parts were done, Harris Matzaridis used a traditional luthier method called “Systema Cremonese” to assemble the violin.
Finally, a varnish made from a two-component synthetic epoxy resin is used to give the instrument an outward appearance similar to the original.
Non expert ears but music amateurs will not easily hear the difference of sound between this violin and another. However, for Harris Matzaridis, there are similarities of tonalities and sound and a difference in volume with the original.