3-D printing technology has been used to create everything from houses to brain tissue, and now it’s taking the music world by storm. The first ever 3D-printed electric violin is here and it plays like a dream. Named the 3Dvarius, in homage to the classic Stradivarius violin, the lightweight prototype can jam out tunes like any other electric fiddle.
Artist and musician Laurent Bernadac helped design the instrument, which took more precision and patience than one might think. The violin had to be strong enough to withstand the tension of real strings and the potential wear and tear that comes with vigorous playing, going through multiple design phases until a resilient prototype was complete. All except the wooden bridge and strings are 3D-printed. The design itself is unique, in that most electric violins (and all wooden) have larger tuning pegs at the scroll and fine tuners near the chin rest. The 3Dvarius’ design allows all tuning to be done with one mechanism beneath the bridge.
At this time, the 3Dvarius is only a prototype, yet orchestral students, teachers, and players can start getting excited now at the idea of what this means for the future. How incredible would it be to see a piece performed by an ensemble composed entirely of 3-D printed instruments?