The Modular Fiddle is a testbed for 3D printed violins.
It's also an excellent acoustic violin.
Hear the Modular Fiddle, Hovalin, and my wood violin spliced together in one song.
Here's a more in-depth comparison.
A 5-String version is available! This version uses the same Body as the 4-string but different Pegbox, Neck, and Bridge parts. You can purchase the 5-string design files from my website.
Once you build a Modular Fiddle, you can change out any part in about ten minutes. Experiment with structures only possible using 3D printing!
- What kinds of sounds can a violin make?
- How can a violin sound different?
- How can generative design techniques improve the playability or change the sound of a violin?
- What can we do with 3D printing that hasn't been tried before?
Let's answer these questions!
The printed parts are the Body, Neck, Pegbox, and Bridge. You will need to purchase strings, tuners, tail piece, and chin rest. For BOM, STEP files, and assembly instructions download the full design package on this page.
For more discussion and support, join the OpenFab Violin Builder's Google Group.
Note regarding Body print settings: print your Body such that the top plate (surface on which the Bridge rests) is fully solid and (ideally) perimeters only.
Today's update is the biggest change to the design since it was first published! That said, the changes do not have much effect on sound, but the aesthetic is improved, weight is reduced, and I've published files for a 5-string version (available for purchase here).
The 4-String Pegbox is redesigned from the ground up for better overall form and improved mechanical loading. The old Pegbox-Grover-R6 still works, and is compatible with any Grover tuner recommended for the Modular Fiddle. The new Pegbox-Grover6-R2 and R2b are compatible ONLY with Grover 6W and 6B tuners. It may work with the 4-series, but I have not tested them. It definitely DOES NOT work with the 8-series Grover tuners.
The Bridge is also updated to improve string heights at the fingerboard. If your string heights are OK, you do not need to print this new Bridge.
The Neck overall form is improved and the nut shape is improved in a small way. The Neck profile is improved for better printing without supports.
I have compiled a document of detailed release notes and it is incorporated into my bill of materials. You can download the BOM, as well as STEP files and assembly instructions on the Modular Fiddle page of my website.
I've updated the Neck and Bridge files. You definitely need the second truss rod in the Body through the Neck! When you install it, it flattens the instrument such that you need a new bridge to maintain correct string heights. Please make sure you have correct string heights at the end of the fingerboard! If they aren't quite right it won't be a very fun instrument to play.
The Modular Fiddle is officially better than a cheap wood instrument according to the violin experts at David Kerr Violin Shop in Portland, OR. This instrument sounds better and is more fun to play than a budget wood instrument (sub $300 or so). I thought that it couldn't compare but I am delighted to be wrong!
Update 23OCT18: Bridge updated to R6 -- string spacing adjusted. Pegboxes simplified. One Pegbox-Grover-R6 for either Grover tuner style. R6 Pegbox is angled to improve string paths and mechanical load.
Update 04OCT18: All STL files are oriented correctly for printing!
You need to print one Pegbox file, one Neck file (with or without supports designed in), one Body file (also with or without designed supports), and one Bridge file. Match the Pegbox file you choose to your tuners. See BOM for more info.
Be careful with your supports! Use the Bridge and Neck with supports files if you do not have the ability to control support placement.
For the tuners -- most Ukelele friction tuners that fit an 8mm hole will work on the Grover-R6 Pegbox. See the BOM on my website for the parts I use.
The generative bridge sounds TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the other bridge. It's actually kind of crazy what a big difference it makes! Try it out!