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F-F-Fiddle by OpenFabPDX Mar 24, 2014

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79748Views 9407Downloads Found in Music


The F-F-Fiddle (pronounced eff-eff-fiddle) is a full size electric violin that can be made with common home 3D printing equipment. All parts can be printed without support material on a Makerbot Replicator 2 or larger (I also use a Type A Machines Series 1), and the total material cost is roughly $250. For more info and assembly documentation: http://www.openfabpdx.com/fffiddle.
Here's a video intro to the F-F-Fiddle: http://youtu.be/8NDWVcJJS2Y and here's the FIRST tune played on a FFF 3D printed violin! http://youtu.be/_0-8EZPDshY
If you've built a F-F-Fiddle, or plan to build one, join the F-F-Fiddle Builder's Group to offer your feedback and get support during your build. http://ow.ly/yXJAV

8/15/14: I fixed a problem in the part orientation for the Bout and Neck that caused an issue with the first layer. Prints are much easier now.
7/7/14: I've made two F-F-Fiddles in ProtoPasta's carbon fiber filament -- they sound better! All of my bridges are now CFPLA, and I highly recommend using CFPLA for your parts. See pictures, above.
5/6/14: New bridge designed to send vibration more directly to the pickups. New bout part has counterbore for Gotoh Stealth guide/accent parts. Not necessary for functionality but they look nice.
4/2/14: STEP file for the instrument has been uploaded.
4/1/14: I changed the Rev numbers for the Bout files to 7. There is no change to the part, so Bout-R6 is OK to use with Neck-R7.
You may use the F-F-Fiddle for commercial purposes if you agree to send 10% of your net gross income from use of the design to OpenFab PDX, LLC every six months. Paypal: [email protected] If you wish to use the design to sell a product, such as a 3D printer, please contact me.


Recommended slicing settings:
0.20mm layer heights
10% infill
3 shells
3 solid layers top and bottom
Bridge is OK for 2 shells, 5-10% infill.

View and download full assembly instructions here: www.openfabpdx.com/fffiddle

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Do you have any recommendations for cheaper parts? Especially the pickups.

Do you have any recommendations for cheaper parts? Especially the pickups.

Community request for weights of the neck and bout parts (separately if you have it) and the infill printed at.
I'm compiling a list for print optimization purposes. Thanks.

Comments deleted.

Hey Corey -- good question. I don't have that info handy (poor record keeping over here), but post up on the Google Group, too, those folks are pretty helpful and some likely have that info.

You're in it already, but for anyone that would like to join, here's the Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/fffiddlers

I want to print this but even the cut up remixes are a bit big for a kossel mini footprint. Have you considered uploading a version that's cut up to print on tall/delta printers with smaller radius (~150mm)? Perhaps a version that prints upright?

That's a good solution for small print areas, and I have thought it. Ultimately, I wouldn't design for that orientation for two reasons: 1. you're applying forces from the strings that then wants to pull apart the layers. Sure, with the rod in there it's probably fine, but it's just not mechanically elegant. 2. Your fingerboard would need to be sanded or coated to perform acceptably.

That said, I believe you should be able to make some fairly easy edits to the design to try printing it in a vertical orientation, and if that's what I had to do for my printer I would do it even if it wasn't the 'right' way to print it. Go for it!

I also feel like I've seen a print where someone did this. Look through the makes if you haven't yet and see if there's one in there.

Thanks for the reply. I'm not averse to a bit of sanding and if I can make a playable fiddle, my ladyfriend will be most pleased.I haven't seen an upright print anywhere, but I'll keep looking. I'm not going to print too soon, so I've got time to work out a solution.

Cool! Check out the Hovalin, too. Some of their parts print vertically and you may be able to print their neck vertically as well. www.hovalin.com

That hovalin is pretty cool. My lady is into the electric fiddle though, so I definitely want to go that route. Yours also has a nice look and slender, transportable nature. It's pretty cool.

Cool! Check out the Hovalin, too. Some of their parts print vertically and you may be able to print their neck vertically as well. www.hovalin.com

Has anyone printed in carbon fiber? I was considering printing this but want to use the right material since there is so much time involved.

Do you mean carbon fiber PLA? I think it's awesome printed in CFPLA. I have always used ProtoPasta's.

Iam currently looking for Parts.
The Pickups:
cost around 75€, and i have to cut the Plug, now i wonder if one of these:
Whould work just as well, and the price difference is several orders of magnitude.

I don't think the larger disc piezos will fit the current design, but I know that folks have found ways to do it.

If you haven't yet, peruse through the builds here and see if anyone has used a piezo like that and how they did it.

May 9, 2016 - Modified May 9, 2016
FredMF - in reply to OpenFabPDX

Ah yes they are all to large..
i did end up buying these:
(i paid 49€ but the price seems to be different now)
they fit perfectly, but the cables are slightly to thick, so i removed the isolation and soldered the ends to thinner cables in oder to pull them through.
I still dont have a solution for the Tuners. I understand that you took the Gotoh Stealth, they look nice and fit the size and design. And i will use them once i can get my hands on them for a reasonable price. At the moment i'am getting "banjo" tuners and i will try to remove as much material (on the tuners) as needed to make them fit.

If i want to print one of these and donate it for a benefit auction. Is that ok with the liacence that you have for the fiddle?

Lawrence, your post was a while ago, but note that the license has changed to allow for commercial use!

That's a good question! I think technically that could be considered a commercial use but I'm not totally sure. What organization or cause does the auction benefit?

As soon as I get my printer to work I'll build this up! Thanks!

Hello, I was trying to print this on a Replicator 2. I am having problems with the neck, it seems that top corner keeps lifting off the bed. Do you have any advice on what to do to prevent this problem? I am using a glass bed and large masking tape on top. This is the largest print I've done on this MakerBot, but this is also the first time that this problem has happened. I attempted to print on rafts but the rafts don't fit on the bed towards the corners. Help?

Yes, the neck is a tough print for warp. On a Rep2 you don't have much room for a brim or sidewalk so it's super important to maximize your stick! I used to print with blue tape, and was able to get that to work. Now (on all printers, including my Rep2) I print on a glass bed with Aquanet extra super hold. Start with at least three thick layers of Aquanet. Let each dry in between applications. Then, make sure that your bed is super level. As your print starts, watch your first layer to see that you are getting the right amount of squish. You can even adjust the bed level by hand as the first layer prints. If your beads of extrusion aren't squished enough and you've already printed either end (where warp is likely) -- cancel the print and start over!

Whether you stick with tape or switch to hairspray, the bed has to be level and you have to get the right starting distance in Z.

In addition to the masking tape, you might try a thin application of a glue stick where the corner issue is happening. Also there are "sidewalks" (one-layer extensions on the first layer) you can turn on in Makerbot Desktop.

I´ve finally printed the parts!
Im trying to find SHCS 8-32x1.5"
SHCS 8-32x1"
8-32 Nut
The guy in the hardware store, wanted to know more sizes. How is the width of these bolts?

Stonemask -- apologies for the late reply! You may have figured this one out already. To break down the screw callout: SHCS is socket head cap screw, 8-32 is the thread pitch, and 1.5" (or 1") is the length of the screw, measured from the bottom of the head to the end of the threads. Enjoy your build!

May 9, 2015 - Modified May 9, 2015

Thanks for your help yesterday with texts. We have the neck and bridge printed and are working on the bout today. All parts are ordered but the Gotoh Stealth tuners 3x3 are out of stock on Allparts and we cannot seem to locate these anywhere. Any suggestions? We really would like to stick with this tuner.

Hey -- yes, the Gotoh Stealths are available on eBay. Make sure you get the 3x3, preferably not the locking type.

May 5, 2015 - Modified May 5, 2015

Thanks to the good answers.
then, what did you use the tuning machine and pick up?
Can i use the cheap pick up?

The instrument is designed for K & K pickups and the Gotoh Stealth pegs. Check the BOM under thing files for more info. Other F-F-Fiddle builders have used other hardware, so check out the makes and derivatives for ideas!

Hi i am Chansol from south korea.
I have one question to ask. how long does it take to print this out?

Hi Chansol -- good question! Print time depends on your printer and settings. On my Replicator 2 I print the neck in about 6 hours and the bout in about 9. The bridge is a 10 or 15 minute print.

Congrats! I thought you model was one of the best choices for a 3D Printed Christmas gift! I made a link from here: http://3dprintingninja.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-20-free-3d-printed-christmas-gifts.html

Woohoo, thanks, Print Ninja!

Oct 1, 2014 - Modified Oct 1, 2014

This looks like a great project. I have a niece and a nephew who are fiddlers, and I would love to give them each one for Christmas. I have a Felix 3.0, and the neck of the fiddle is too long for my printer. Any workarounds for this? Thanks.

Thanks, and awesome! That would be an amazing present.

Yes -- the best option would be for you to use the neck files from lapinchatware's sliced F-F-Fiddle. He's cut both the neck and bout parts into two. Check it here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:480766

You can string the neck parts up on the truss rod together, add some epoxy (or print ABS and use acetone), and you should be good to go. You can also order the neck part from me, but then your colors might not match.

F-F-Fiddle for 200mm X 200mm bed

Hi !
I modified the design to use the openscad puzzle lib in order to help getting it right. I have uploaded it but haven't finished printing it. Oh and ... it should fit in 20x20 (as mine is 19x18) :)

Thanks for the original design !

Puzzled f-f-fiddle (20x20)

I saw, good stuff! Someone was just asking me the other day about fitting the parts together like puzzle pieces, now I can show them your design. :-) Thanks for sharing your work, and I look forward to seeing your full F-F-Fiddle!

I've downloaded the parts and I am printing! Thank you!

Do you have like, an approximate weight?

Hey -- yes! I just weighed one, and it comes in at 475 grams or 1 lb 0.8 oz.

Which on is the best filament to print the violin: PLA or ABS? I am from Brazil and it is difficult to find the ProtoPasta's carbon fiber filament =/

I have only printed the F-F-Fiddle in PLA and the CFPLA. Others have printed in ABS, but I haven't compared the instruments. I believe that, generally speaking, the stiffer the material the better the sound, so I'd recommend printing in PLA over ABS.

Hallo. My name Vlad. Could you tell which kind of pegs did you use? in your violine

Yup, they're Gotoh Stealth's. You can find more info in the BOM under "thing files".

I play the violin and notice a few things I wonder if any violin player could comment on. The strings seem spaced very far apart. It seems the nut and bridge are grooved much wider than a standard acoustic or electric violin. Also, the neck seems to get wider further up, making the instrument appropriate mostly for first position. Any accomplished payers out there tried this?

Jan 4, 2015 - Modified Jan 4, 2015
mikitz - in reply to Elainep8

I've carefully measured and the string spacings on the f-f-fiddle is the exact same in every aspect as a professional quality acoustic violin. The only difference is the strings are closer to the fingerboard in the higher registers than an acoustic violin. But this is normal for an electric violin, it actually makes it easier to play the higher you go on the fingerboard! Great project by the way OpenFabPDX, I keep meaning to make a video of me playing mine, maybe that's a good new year's resolution..!

Thanks, Mikitz! Yeah, I don't think I've seen your Make, either -- don't forget to upload that with your video!

It does take me a few minutes to adjust between my F-F-Fiddle and my acoustic. What I find most different is the bridge profile -- the flatter profile on the fiddle means that double-stops are much easier.

Jul 21, 2014 - Modified Jan 5, 2015
OpenFabPDX - in reply to Elainep8

The spacing for my nut/bridge are based on my acoustic instrument, which is spaced as per standard: 16mm from E to G on the nut and, well, a bit more improvised on the bridge. The notches for the strings are not modeled into the file, so you're welcome to space them however feels best for you.
I play in first and second positions primarily, sometimes I end up in third but that's rare. On the F-F-Fiddle I do find myself staying in 1st position, and it does feel different to play. Thanks for the feedback on the neck getting wider -- I'll have to check that! The comment that I get from most advanced players is that they miss the traditional reference points along the palm side of the instrument when they shift. The 'bump' on the neck is in the proper place, though, so you can learn to use that as a reference but it takes practice.

What type of tuners did you use?

They're Gotoh Stealth tuners. You can see more detailed info as well as source info in the BOM (under thing files).

it´s printing, but its getting slowly :) But it seems to be working, the bout will be ready tomorrow. I sent you an email about the tuners.

this is incredible. I wan to try this one out for my daughter. I cant find the right tuners. I´ve been looking for it on ebay How big printer do I need? How big is the board on the printer?

Glad you like it! The tuners can be a bit tricky to find, but you're doing the right thing. You want a set of 3x3 Gotoh Stealth's. Don't buy the 6 in-line! Here's a set on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/360735535980?lpid=82http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3...
You need a printer with a build plate the size of a Replicator 2 or larger. That's a build surface of 11.2" x 6". The neck also fits on a Type A Machines Series 1 (wooden), which is 9"x9". If you're unsure if the parts will fit, I'd recommend just downloading the Neck part and trying to fit it on your printer in your favorite slicing program.

Did you get my message from your webpage?

My aunt tried to print out the body (bout) in a 3d printer at fab lab in my town. And it fell down like a sad reacake :(. she thinks the heat is the reason.c
are you printing it out to sell? if i can not print it out, could you sell me the basic, and i will order by myself tuners, strings and pickup. I would buy the rod, bout and neck and bridge from you??

I sent u a message through ur page yesterday

Hey, yes, got it! I haven't had time to sit down and pen a response. I'll get that to you as soon as I can!

ok thanks!

Yup, I can do that! The best thing would be for me to sell you the body kit -- bout, neck, drill rod cut to length, and fasteners. Get in touch through my website and we can sort out the details. http://www.openfabpdx.com/contactwww.openfabpdx.com/contact

Hiw does this sound without the ekectric part? And can you use tuners other than the gotoh syealth?

Without the pickups it's pretty soft and tinny. I traveled with the F-F-Fiddle to NYC last week and practiced in the evenings in my hotel room, so it makes a decent practice instrument.
As designed, no, you have to use the Gotoh Stealth tuners. You could redesign to accommodate others, but you'd need to break the flat build surface with the tuner heads to fit a larger tuner. I didn't want to do that... I'm working on a redesign using ukelele friction tuners. These will be less expensive, but I have yet to figure out how that will all work.

I created this for the interim. I haven't yet had a chance to add strings (as I'm currently at work, and my strings are at home), but the do fit snugly into the original holes. Don't know if/how long they will stay tuned, but I think it will work as a friction tuner.

Small Tuning Peg

I play the viola and I'm wondering if I could just add on viola strings and will it work the same?

I'm not sure...technically that may work, but it seems like there may be some standardized dimensions that would be off. Can anyone comment on this?

People, especially junior viola players frequently string a violin with viola strings.

Just a question, would you happen to know James Furlo?

Looks like an HP guy? I know a few of those, but not James.

For me the logic in 3D-printing would be to print connections instead of complete surfaces. However, it's 'fun' to make things like this, I never quite understand why it's 'completely' printed. Besides the BOM ofcourse.

A very interesting design nonetheless.

Great! 3D Printed fiddle bow next, please!

Haha, yeah, I took a stab at a bow and it sort of worked... Turns out the bow is a bit tricky to get right! It's important for it to be pretty darn stiff across a long distance. I went and played a bunch of manufactured plastic bows and didn't like them a bit, so I put the bow project on the back burner. Hopefully some of the new materials, like ProtoPasta's filament, or even parts printed on something like the Mark Forged could offer the stiffness needed.

Actually, a laser-cut bow is something that's more within reason. That's probably the direction I would take it.

Quite impressive! Wonder if there is a way to make it acoustic.... perhaps the banjolele (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:113908)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... has the answers I seek...

Banjo Ukulele (Banjolele)

Wait, I'm sorry, did someone say 'banjolin?' :-)

I would print a mandolin in a heartbeat

Once the 4 piece version is released I'd like to print this in laywoo d-3 perhaps with the wood grain script active. Id also print it in abs too so you could see it

I am all over this!!! 225x145x150. But it's a replicator 1 with a lot of curl. I may bust out an ABS slurry for this.

I hope isn't too late .... well in my case my hot bed size is 200x200..... Hope it can be scaled or divided in 3 pieces.... Another questio... what material do you usae originally? Normally I print PLA because is less tossic and mor easy to usa... I've never used ABS.. but ... welll... There is a first time for all!!!!

Yup, I've printed all the FFFiddles in PLA. I'd love to see it in ABS, but until I pick up a printer with a heated bed I'll stick to PLA.

Excellent, it's great

Could you link to the 4 piece version for solidoodle?

The four piece version hasn't been released yet. The user that made it is testing the design.

Good job ! Hope to see 3 pieces versions so that it can fit most of 3D printers !

Me, too! There's a guy that's already split it into four pieces for printing on a Solidoodle. A three piece version would be a great derivative, and something I'll keep in mind for the next version.

If the fiddle doesn't fit your printer, list your print area dimensions so I know what kind of constraints we're working with.

I can see most of 3d Printer out there came with 200mm X 200mm print bed. ( mine as well ) .

Why can't you model this long part in two half's making it part hollow for maybe a half inch (or 3/4 inch) wood dowel to strengthen the joint and maybe the same but with a flat stock or some other hollow way to glue it up for that other long part??? PLA should glue well with the right type glue and with a joint with wood should make it real strong. May even do something with the sound, maybe on the good side :) . Fiddles are an amazing instrument. Would love to have one to ping a bit on, on occasion. Thanks, Rick.

There are definitely ways to split up the neck, that sounds like one of them!

AMAZING!!! to bad it dose not fit on my Replicator 1.

Awesome! But $250 to build??? This thing can be made for under $50. Use eBay piezo transducers which sell for much less than $1 each, and very good quality tuners for about $20 per set. Of course fancier parts will cost more, as will gold plating and jewels.

We have our reasons, but it would be great to see some derivatives that reduce cost!

Is this scalable? I have been teaching Ruby violin and she currently has a 1/10th size instrument. Would LOVE to get her on the electric violin as an alternative. Suggestions?

That is something I've thought about. I don't think you'd be able to simply scale this model, but it seems possible, albeit difficult, to develop a parametric model that could scale appropriately. That would be a really, really fun project...

We'll be rebuilding the model in the next couple months, and I'll definitely look into the differences between the sizes. Can anyone weigh in on how they scale? Leveraging this design to make other sizes of violins would be a great derivative!

This is awesome! Just started printing the parts :D

This is F-F-Fantastic!

is there any way you can upload your original AutoCAD files? My printing machine is too small, but i have had luck cutting parts into smaller pieces for printing. These are too complex for me to rebuild from sight, too complex for me to copy in 3DS Max. my computer is stuttering a bit. It says there are no water-tight meshes in the STL to convert to a solid object. If you could upload the DWGs I could make adjustments for my Solidoodle1's decreased print volume. or maybe email them to me? Thanks.

just wanted to know if you were able to cut this into three pieces, and if so would you be able to share the files, thanks

I'm on it! Step files to be uploaded in the next few days.

This is awesome! I wish my 3d printer was large enough to print something this large.

I kinda thought it was like Chia pets.
Cha Cha Cha Chia.

Fah Fah Fah Fiddle (too many fahs I guess)

Very cool, I've been looking at this from grabcad but I'd love to work in a cheaper more readily available tuning key.

LOL, I went back and forth on pronunciation for a while.

Oh man, the Gotoh Stealths are so amazing, but I hear you... We kept the tuners super compact to enable you to lay the instrument down on its build surface -- it's great when you're explaining 3D printing. Fortunately we have a major revision in the works and designing around a different tuner is high on the list. I'm partial to the Ukelele style friction tuners and there's a company here in Oregon that makes really nice ones. If you know any good options throw 'em out!

I have been wanting to print my own electric violin for months now. You have no idea how awesome this is for me. I had no idea where to start. That you are just putting this on the internet means a lot to me. Thanks!

AWESOME! I'm so glad this is helpful.

For you and others -- the original design files are hosted on Autodesk's Fusion 360. You can join the group and edit the native files to change your chin/should rest geometry or do whatever else you'd like to. Just shoot me an email (contact info on http://www.openfabpdx.comwww.openfabpdx.com) and I'll get you set up on the group.