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Speaking of VSO's....
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bfurman
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November 19, 2014 - 1:17 pm
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BillyG
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November 20, 2014 - 1:55 am
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Ahhhhh - much better than laser-printing Colt-45's (or whatever hand-gun it was)...

I assume, it still has an internal sound-post or else it just wouldn't have the sound it has, created as part of the 3-D printing process?   If so, is it adjustable or a fixed part of the "solid object"?     

Don't know enough about it, but maybe the drop-off in the higher registers is due to the increased body weight, and it's just not resonating as brilliantly as the lighter, wooden material on a traditional build would do?   I guess you also lose the expected cross-string and internal body resonances to some extent as well.

Still, I find it intriguing, and it's certainly in the class of being a "musical instrument" rather than a "toy violin".....  cool....

EDIT: After the first coffee of the day kicked in....  it also seems to me as if the build (once fitted with the same strings, tailpiece, bridge and bridge position) would be extremely repeatable - giving a "standard" in both sound and playability - in the sense that every one configured in the same way, should pretty much sound the same.  It doesn't matter too much about the "quality" of the sound - it becomes a "yardstick" for other players (I'm referring to beginners, of course) to work against - and the ONLY reason they are not sounding like their tutor is down to THEM and their playing technique, interpretation of the piece, the choice of bow, the rosin-ing and so on - and not the violin.....   The other benefit of this would be for (once mass produced) super cheap, fairly robust (it would probably survive being dropped) but playable instruments - say for kids at school

Sounds like fun - but no - I wouldn't want one....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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DanielB
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November 20, 2014 - 2:32 am
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Well, it does have some interesting possibilities.

If that was the *worst* a kid might be given for starting lessons, that could be an improvement over some of what's out there.

I'd have to wonder how well it actually holds tune, though.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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BillyG
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November 20, 2014 - 2:38 am
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Oh, there's more - it would stand up well to being played outside, rain and such wouldn't matter, what's more, on a camping trip, if you have to cross a swollen river, tape over the F-holes and it's a useful buoyancy aid for poor swimmers...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Mark
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November 20, 2014 - 3:18 am
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Bill,

I must say I like your ingenuity of thought on alternative uses for an instrument.violin-student

 

Mark

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OldOgre
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November 20, 2014 - 9:03 am
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Look out Sci-Fi here comes reality.

With violins there is no fretting over the music.

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Uzi
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Dad, I've broken my fiddle.  No worries son, I'll print you a new one after lunch.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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DanielB
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November 20, 2014 - 1:18 pm
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"No, that weird old wood violin may be fun for home.. But for school orchestra, you have to play a nice grey one, just like everyone else.  It just looks much nicer if everyone plays on the natural grey ones.  You're going through a phase, Binky, just trying to just be different.  Everyone knows those old 'organic' instruments were just VSOs, anyway.."

 

"In the news today, PETP (People for Ethical Treatment of Plants) members spraypainted three antique Stradivarius and one Guarneri violin to protest top performers encouraging cruelty to trees by playing the instruments in public... "

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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bfurman
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November 21, 2014 - 9:44 pm
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I've been doing some 3D printing at work, so I wondered if anyone had tried printing a violin yet.  Sure enough, they had....

I would imagine the soundpost is printed as an integral part of the instrument, but it wouldn't have to be.  The density issue could also be mitigated by selecting the right fillers, such as glass microbubbles.

A material that lacks the orientation of wood fibers will never sound exactly the same as wood with the same dimensions.  The violin has taken its traditional shape in part because the speed of sound is faster along the length than it is across the grain.

I think it's a nice idea to have control and consistency in sound, particularly for student instruments.  I also think it's wise to conserve wood for fine instruments.  The artistry of traditional woodcraft will always have a place in music.

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DanielB
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November 22, 2014 - 1:21 am
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I think that some of the limitations they are running into with the sound on this sort of thing may come from having made the instrument too "violin shaped".

The different material, with different density and structure would need more of a re-engineering to approach being as optimized for sound as a traditional material violin. 

If they focused on re-figuring the internal dimensions to take advantage of the material, they could likely come up with a more "violin sounding" instrument that could have the same contact points and balance with the player's body as a traditional violin.  At least something close.  It might not be striclty "violin shaped", then.. But a "Violin Sounding Object" could be a type of "VSO" that could have some real potential, at least in the beginner/student levels.

Even with things like the tuning pegs.. My electric violin is made almost entirely of plastics.  According to a friend of mine who knows more about plastic than I do, the main material is glass filled .. something or other (I don't know much about plastics) and the pegs are some sort of vinyl that I also don't recall the name of.  But it tunes well from the pegs and holds tune.  Before some of you laugh too hard, I thought it would fall apart inside of a month too.  But it hasn't, and I've played the heck out of it nearly every day for almost 3 yrs now.

But all kidding aside, with some engineering, instruments like the one in the original post could really be good for some things.  Consistent quality and characteristics, reliable, durable, and when necessary, replaceable with little or no difference to the player's fingers or ears.  That could be very good, compared to some of what is currently out there.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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November 22, 2014 - 6:51 am
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I believe that they can be made to sound great given enough experimenting. I know that the carbon fiber instruments sound pretty darn good. Great point Daniel about the shape. Different material requires perhaps a slightly different shape and definitely different thicknesses as well. A great acoustic engineer should be able to calculate a lot of that stuff.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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bfurman
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November 28, 2014 - 9:21 pm
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I like the reproducibility aspect of it for students/schools.  Save the good wood for fine instruments.

The shape might be different, but the proportions should be close enough that the player can easily adapt to a traditional instrument later on.

Fiber reinforced composites are similar to wood in that their properties are distinct along the length, width, and thickness directions.  But FRC's can't be printed.  I've spent considerable time developing anisotropic materials that are potentially printable, so I wonder if that could be a sort of acoustic breakthrough.

Any acoustic engineers here?

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augustoad
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Oh my, that's awesome!

In a few years, I imagine every house will have a 3D printer. Imagine just buying (or modeling) the kind of violin you want as a ".xyz" file and telling your printer to do the job... It would be great. :D

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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DanielB
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November 29, 2014 - 2:22 am
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Hmm.. Might be a good time to invest in stock in the string companies, since those can't be printed.  LOL

But yeah, I think there are a lot of good potentials.  Consider even just chin rests and shoulder rests.   A person could print some out and try them for fit and see what works best for them before buying.  Or maybe not buy, since it would work well enough already.

Compared to the crapshoot of trying to figure out what one to order if the one that came with your violin doesn't happen to be a good fit to you, that could be great.

Most shoulder rests are mostly plastic anyway, so far as I have seen.  Or they could be.  Adjustability isn't such a huge selling point for those, when you can just print one out to custom fit.   Well, after probably printing out several that don't end up being a perfect fit.  LOL

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Oliver
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November 29, 2014 - 9:26 am
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On behalf of the loyal opposition ...... The Amazing Impressionist chin rest.  Infinitely and automatically adjustable.  I fitted one with three tries and it has been perfect ever since.

But there's more.  The material fflows which means that the fit actually improves!

A true one size fits all and available from your Fiddlershop at a very good price.

Note. In order to mount this chin rest, be sure where you want violin to point.

Daniel.   I'm sure you are correct about the future of printing but I think the impressionist is a modest genius right now.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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November 29, 2014 - 9:37 am
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Absolutely amazing! I wonder if maybe they can do a study to where they can calibrate the right thickness and graduation for the printer and creat a CF violin thats stronger and lighter?

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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bfurman
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November 29, 2014 - 10:11 am
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Eric,

CF can't be printed.  It is expensive because of the way it is layed up and vacuum molded.  But it is very consistent when made that way.

Honestly, I don't understand the variability in CF bows.  Maybe it's because they are made to a price point, i.e. carelessly?

Currently, 3-D printing isn't cost effective for high volume production.  Where it shines is for unique/custom designs and one-off pieces.

Oh well.  It was a nice fantasy while it lasted.

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