The Annelise Violin (Electric)

by Jaxelsson May 1, 2017
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Does the rod need to be threaded? Or can you use a carbon fiber rod of the same diameter?

Good question. It does not need to be a threaded rod. Check the instructions for my JAx Dragon violin for more info. On that one I was even able to use a carbon fiber tube. But a CF rod is probably safer. :-) I did notice that depending on the printer and the CF tube, the workable diameter can vary just slightly (so I made the hole just a hint bigger on the JAx Dragon). The threaded rod can serve as a makeshift file if things get a little too tight. You get the idea. Best of luck and don’t forget to post a Make and share your discoveries.

Hello how dose it sound I love the design but my main idea of it is how does it actually perform as a musical instrument is this something that you could pick up to relearn how to play one or it says like a student level violin

Well, I’m not an expert on professional level violins, but for something you can 3D print and make at home it’s amazing. Keep in mind this is electric, and electrics violins are more like electric guitars. Just like electric guitars, the sound isn’t much until you amplify/process it. This thing definitely works well in that capacity and is great for practicing with headphones as well. The playability can definitely be impacted by how much attention you put on the string action/height (I.e. bridge sanding) and the amount of infill you use. As for the sound...

For anyone who’s been asking for video of this thing being played, user @roady shared this video with me of their print of my JAx 5 String Violin from a convention in Kazakhstan. Same basic design as this one. They had people lining up to play it. Looks and sounds awesome Roady.


Could you explain how you got the upper layers black? Did you pause the print in the middle and change the filament? Or dual extrusion?

Just a pause. There are two ways that I’ve found. The first one is to manually pause it, but the chances of catching such a long print at the exact right time is not very high. Trust me on that. ;-). So I’ve found a much better way (that I know at least works on the Monoprice Maker). I switch my Cura view to Layers View and mark down the exact layer number where I want to switch. Then open the saved *.GCODE file that you send to the printer (in a text/code editor) and find the layer number in the code. There you paste in the following:

M117 "Pausing Print" ;
M85 S0; Disable Timeout
G90 ; Absolute
M400 ; Wait Buffer
M401 ; Save XYZ
G91 ; Relative
G1 Z60 ; Move Up 60
G90 ; Absolute
M117 "Change Filament" ;
M400 ; Wait Buffer
M25 ; Pause SD Print
M117 "Change Filament" ;
M400 ;
M117 "Resuming Print" ;
M402 ; Goto Saved XYZ

I recommend researching this for your particular set up just in case it varies, and also trying it on a smaller print, since this is a big one. :-). But it should work just like that. Best of luck. Do let us know how it goes and what works for you.

Is there an assembly guide for this anywhere?

I don’t really have a formal one, but it should become self explanatory as you go. Feel free to read up on the comments on all my violins for more info. If I find time one day I can try to organize some instructions.

Thanks! It looks pretty self-explanatory now that I have a few parts printed. Doing mine in the Hatch wood PLA.

How did it turn out in Hatch Wood filament?

Awesome! People have been inquiring about using wood filament and I have yet to hear if it makes a difference. Do share your results (both pictures and thoughts on the sound) with us all when you’re done, if you don’t mind.

How do you center the piezo set when the wire is going either side of the hole to avoid the rod?

Do you have 2 channels for the wire? An earlier version had only 1 that would go down the center of the rod, this was updated. If you have the 2 holes there should be enough space at the top to have the sensor in the center and the wire go to the side.

I was wondering in general if printing these musical instruments can benefit from the use of the wood PLA? Seems like there could be a different resonance quality? Beautiful design Jaxelsson! Can't wait to try it out.

I have been curious about that. Obviously it won’t be as much of a difference as it would be in an acoustic instrument, but I would guess there would at least be some. If I only had time (and space) to make more violins than I already do, I’d definite be exploring it. :-D That’s definitely one of the reasons I love sharing these. I encourage everyone to post their findings and discoveries in return.

I love your design and intend to print soon. If the five string is coming soon, I would want to wait and print it. How far out on it are you?

I’m printing it right now actually. So it is imminent. The supplies list and screws will be the same as the Annelise and Mina Violins and the parts will be interchangeable, except for the neck of course (which is wider at the finrgerboard and has an extra hole top and bottom).
Took me a little longer as I wanted to tweak it to perfection at the same time as adding lots of hidden conduits for future Adafruit and Arduino goodies. :-). Just need to have a few more successful parts printed before assembling and publishing. I’ll send you a sneak peak.

Awesome! I’ve been wanting an electric violin ever since my school got to play with Mark Wood and I tried his 5 string model. Thanks a lot and I’ll definitely print the 5 string once you get it all finished!

So you’re a player then? Mark Wood plays a fretted one right? I haven’t tried to tackle designing one of those yet... :-)

Yes I've played for quite a while! His is fretted which I think would be pretty cool and much easier to play in tune. What pickup did you use for this violin?

I’ve simply been using “the affordable kind” for now as we’re enjoying designing and making all these different twists. :-). (See other comments for links.) I know Matt Bell would frown on it, lol. If we have anyone in the family that gets more pro with it, I’ll definitely upgrade them.

As for when the 5 string will be posted, make sure to “follow me” and you should be notified right away.

Alright I'll definitely do that and I plan on being one of the first makes. Thanks!

Getting closer. :-) Always exciting to see things coming together in real life after so much time in drafting. Of course seeing a print fail after 12 hours is a bit agonizing, lol.

I’m determined to make this think silver, but this particular filament is prone to clogging.

Can you perhaps post a picture of how the chin rest fits on this thing? I haven't been able to determine that.

Hmm, well, I’d have to take some pictures when I get home if need be. But honestly I’m pretty sure it’s like most other violins. There are many types of chin rests of course, so make sure you’re using the kind that clamps on at the center of the Lower Bout. That’s what the oval platform at the base is all about. Traditionally, the kind of chin rest that straddles where the bridge is attached. (Not the kind that clamp offset from center.) You can see an example of mine in the second photo (Mina Violin) on my violin hanger.

If you’re printing the one I provided you’ll need the metal bracket to screw in that clamps the body. Hope that helps.

Electric Violin Wall Hanger
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are all the parts already oriented to print

Not necessarily. You’ll have to rotate them for your particular printer and approach.

Beautiful design! I'm printing as I'm writing this. Experimented with a couple dual-color options and settled on black, silver, and gold in the end.

One question I do have. Some of the files have a bar in the middle of the neck, that is raised pretty prominently. I don't play violin but I do play double bass, and have looked at violin photos on the net, and none of those have that bar. What is it for? Should it be cut and sanded down? Thank you!

If you mean the skinny flat edge sticking up where the fingerboards join, yes that is to be cut. Just meant to help get a perfect smooth edge at the join.

Looking forward to seeing your Make.

OK, got it. But how do you cut it? It's too thick for an Xacto... and I'm wary to go at it with something more robust, for fear of damaging the joint.

Hmm, too thick? Maybe depends on the plastic type a bit. I’m trying to remember what I’ve done different. I guess maybe try slowly shaving it down with a sharp knife was how it works best. I definitely have been able to do that carefully when it gets close to the end. On my last one I first cut it off leaving just a little and then actually smoothed the whole fingerboard out with a file and very fine sandpaper AFTER joining them together. Made for a very good fingerboard.

Worked. What a beautiful design!

Hey, one last question, i've got the piezo set, and i am a bit confused to how to install it, is it supposed to be installed under the bridge like in the picture?, because if so, one would have to make a hole in the threaded rod.

Can it, and should it be installed anywhere else?

Thanks for attaching the photo, it helped me figure out what's going on. It appears that you're actually building the Mina Violin (which is my first violin) and not this one. Though they have interchangeable parts. But at the same time, I actually ran into the same problem as you, so I can relate.

Both my violins are based on an original neck design by Stepan Ignatovich (which was an awesome contribution to Thingiverse but does have this confusing issue). On my first violin make, I ran into the problem you are having and simply used a drill bit to solve the problem by drilling a hole a few millimeters to the side of the threaded rod (because I didn't want to waste a good print, and no one would ever see the hole under the pickup anyway). However, then I decided to improve on the design and move the hole. The new designs are a part of both violin uploads, but the Mina Violin also still contains the older one (violin_neck_part2.stl), just in case I was missing some other type of combination in the design improvement I made.

I definitely recommend just drilling a small hole to fix the problem, but do take a look at the other File in Thingiviewer to see what you really need it to be like.

The files to consult for the hole you need to drill..
...on the Annelise Violin: neck_part2_steel_rafter2.stl (Last updated: 05-01-17)
...on the Mina Violin: violin_neck_part2_better_pickup_wiring.STL (Last updated: 03-17-17)

Please note: you will likely have to mark your wires and remove the plastic plug temporarily, in order to thread it through the holes.

Hey, thank you for your insight, my first plan of action was of drilling through the threaded rod, but i went with your advice and drilled to the side, which seems to be doing the job given that the wire coming from the piezo is a bit offset to the side.
I picked th other part without really studying the general design thinking that those were the same.

I removed the plastic part and also had to cut and extend the wires given that the wires were too short, operation went smooth,i'll post some pictures wednesday after meeting with a luthier to tune it and have his opinion on the sound it produces, so far the instruments looks magical, thank you a lot for sharing this :)

Hey people, i printed this one, but i am wondering about the size, should i buy accessories comptaible with 3/4 or 4/4? Thanks.

This is definitely a full size (4/4) violin. I have pondered making a smaller scale for my youngest, but have not yet had time.

Making this for a friend and I know little about instruments, I have spent several hours looking for the right product to make the electrics work but i've only confused myself deeply. Can you post a link or help me figure it out. I see this one is it right?


Hey, did you have any trouble wiring this pickup to the board? I've had a few people ask me for advice on where the wires should be soldered, however the version I keep buying (from Amazon) has a simple connector so I can't advise very well. Any assistance would be appreciated. See link to inquiry below. Thanks.


The Mina Violin (Electric)

Yes, that one should work fine. There are two basic options that people seem to use; the BQLZR (your link) and the Silent EQ. Both are also available on Amazon. I used the latter one for both of mine, but I really don’t know that they are much different. I suspect the electronics are very “similar” and they both are made in China. There are of course pro-level options that one could look into, but I think you’ll be happy with these at least for starters. There shouldn’t be much for you to be confused about (other than perhaps the internet sellers making information complicated). Let me know if you still have questions and best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your Make photos on here.

Thank you that makes it crystal clear

I don't play the Violin, so I'm sorry if my question seems a little stupid, but I'm making this for a friend and I really want to get it right.
I've finished the printing of all the parts (beautiful, buy the way) and at the end of the part labeled "neck_part2_steel_rafter2" there's a small raised line, should I cut that off and sand it down, or is that important? I see on the pics you posted that the line is not there, so thought I'd ask before I get busy with the sanding.
Still waiting for some more parts to arrive before final assembly, but once it's done I'll post some 'made' pics.

Yes that should be cut off. It's just intended to help keep that edge square when printing. Also, after assembly and the neck being tightly screwed, I actually ended up filing/sanding down the fingerboard on this one to be perfectly smooth. The printer doesn't make it as smooth as a traditional ebony fingerboard. In my case the black PLA looked a lot like ebony after finely sanding.
Note: I personally don't paint mine as the paint could flake off, especially under the strings. I just use use an exacto. So I have tried not to sand many parts to keep the smooth color consistency of the PLA. Best of luck!

Perfect! thanks for getting back to me.
I'll sand it down smooth, would covering the sanded area with a thin layer of epoxy effect the sound? was just thinking i'd like it to be smooth to look polished and epoxy would be an easy way to do that as well as not flaking like paint. I went with the same red and black as you did since it looks amazing.

Oh and thanks for the compliments, I designed these 2 for each of my daughters and they had a lot of input so I will pass it on.

I have not experimented with epoxy on any surfaces so I really can't say for sure. What I can tell you is that the stronger the plastic the better it will hold up on the fingerboard. As for polished, perhaps the body would look sharp that way but most violin fingerboard aren't, I think mostly because the strings will unpolish them pretty quick. A matte surface that won't rub off is likely your best bet.

Ahh! I understand now, thank you so much for your help.

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I don't suppose you could modify to take five strings, so that we can add the Viola C string?

I can’t recall, did I tell you that the 5 string has been posted?

No you didn't, however it looks really great, love the mods. Now that the wife has seen it I have to make it.

The 5 string (and optional 6) is starting to look like something. :-)

So I couldn't resist. And I give you credit for challenging me. ;-) I'm currently working on a 5 String Violin... stay tuned.

Great stuff!. My wife says "Amazing" and is so excited.

Always nice to hear that people are enjoying my work! Since she’s a player, does she have advice on how curved the base of the fingerboard should be? I know most of it is in the curve of the bridge, but the fingerboard needs to match somewhat well. Trying to figure out if 5 strings need A) an extension on the curve (same radius as 4 string which would result in 125% more bowing action), B) stretched out wider (requiring only more careful bowing or C) a curve somewhere in between. Any advice/input will help.

Now you have me thinking. Basically it would be a viola and a violin in one. I guess the only reason it would be called a 5 string violin instead of a 5 string viola is size...

It is definitely doable and I would encourage someone to try. Especially if you're a player with some experience with 5 string layout. Would simply require widening the neck (plus duplicating holes of course) and adjusting the body mount to accommodate it. Electronics for that would be a question I don't have the answer to yet.
Knowledge of 3D modelling or the interest in learning would be key of course. I mostly use the free version of SketchUp which isn't the best but it works. I'd love to attempt it but don't have the time at the moment. Let me know if you or someone attempts it. Curious.

Thank you for your response. They get called either 5 string Viola or Violin. I guess there may be a mixture of widening the neck and also placing the strings slightly closer together (not sure). There are some cheap ones available on the net. I would think that a slightly longer neck might be in order too.
It's not me who's the musician, as an Engineer I needed some culture so I married it. Wife teaches Violin, Viola and Piano. When I showed her your Violin, it was the key selling point for getting her over the line for me to buy a 3D printer. I do have the free Sketch-up, however I now use the free version of Fusion 360 as I found it more intuitive for me. Anyway I have already started printing your Violin and have the Body Parts done (PLA 15% Infill). I will post it when I eventually finish it. I have a Carbon Fibre Rod in the shed out back (6mm?) so I might consider making some mods. Otherwise I'll start with the steel Rod and then go from there later.

Cool! thanks for sharing. I really like the bridge inspiration.

absolutely beautiful! No, profile pic is not of me. I dont even play violin, but, man, if my printers build plate was big enough I would print this.!!

Thanks! Glad you like it. Believe it or not, it fits (turned just slightly with a very small brim) on a standard i3 style printer. I'm using a Monoprice Maker Select V2 which is 7.9".

Did you use a fiberglass pole inside the violin or was the PVA able to withstand the string tension?

I've actually been meaning to try out fiberglass rods or tubes, but haven't felt like I needed to worry much about the weight yet. The design (as in the notes) uses a steel threaded rod which definitely holds the strength. The PLA plastic is definitely strong on its own and flexes much less than ABS would. Probably used more plastic than needed with the steel rod in mind. I think if I made a bunch more I could figure out the right balance between plastic and either types of rods.

Maybe we can crowd source the right answer over time if people post their combinations and results to share.

Hi Jaxelsson, I'm a violinist and just came across your awesome work! I hope to print out the either the annelise or mina in the next month or two.
A few years ago I printed out the f-f-fiddle and ended up using an aluminum rod - it worked out fine and is still the same as the day it was printed. I think it was fairly cheap too. Ever tried an aluminum rod?

I have not personally tried an aluminum rod, but I’m confident it would work fine. If carbon fiber tubes can work, you’d figure solid aluminum would be enough as well. Let us know how it goes. (And in case you’re looking for a 5-string, I’ve posted a compatible one of those as well.)