Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Acoustic Violin 4/4 - Stridivarius Fiddle

by jonnieZG Oct 29, 2018
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Great model, excellent instructions, I really enjoyed making it! Thank you!

Super projekt, imam jednu elektricnu violinu koju moram nadograditi pa cu se posluziti sa par fileova

Slobodno i stavi rezultate da vidimo! :) Ima tu dosta odličnih modela električnih violina, ali akustična mi je ipak bila veći izazov, jer me zanimalo koliko i kakvog se zvuka može izvući iz plastike.

Now you got me curious about how it would sound with a wood filament and lacquered.

Great model! I'm thinking of printing this as a Christmas gift for a violin enthusiast. How many grams of filament would you say is needed in total? And how many hours of printing would be required altogether? And are supports needed on the pieces? Just need to know to see if this is worth printing. Thanks in advance.

First, let me stress out that regarding the price and the sound, this model is NOT worth printing. You can get a much better sounding violin for 60-70 USD on eBay. This model was meant only for educational purposes and for those that prefer the trip rather than the destination.

I used about 800g of filament and some 30hrs of print, plus many hours of final manual processing of each part, plus sanding paper (a lot of it), plastic primer, spray putty and glossy white spray. Plus 30 USD for a bow and additional 30 for a shoulder bridge, fine tuners and strings.

First of all, thank you very much for both you and MasterChief2552 for sharing this work. This is totally fascinating.

Can I ask what software do you use to design the violin body? Are you open to share the original CAD file?

The reason I ask because there are simulation tools in Fusion 360. I read that article you mentioned about plate frequency, and gave it a try myself. With the computer simulation, it is possible to just modify the model and re-run (without printing out different shape thickness and test). I attach an example of the M5 of a violin back plate (this is not from your model, since it is too difficult to stl into solid body for simulation). The material is PLA, and the M5 I get is about 300Hz, which is way below what the convention ideal number.

However, there is short coming of this simulation. In 3D printing, people rarely use 100% in-fill. However, it is hard for the simulation tool to take account for a denser shell, and say 20% in-fill in honey comb in most area, while in the thinnest part of the back plate, it is more or less just the shell. While the simulation tool can give some insight on how changing shape, material can affect the plate frequency, it doesn't 100% reflect an object made from 3D printing.

Last but not least, assuming the simulation gives a good ball-park figure, M5 at 300Hz is more like a viola. Maybe this material and size combination work better for a small viola?

"Can I ask what software do you use to design the violin body?"

If you follow the line of remixes, you can find this link on the original. I don't think you'll be able to get the original files. Frankly, a proper 3D model still needs to be created. I'd do it if I had more free time.

You can't stop the tail from snapping unless you loosen the strings after each use. It's just an unfortunate side effect of using plastic. Thermoplastics will always behave as a fluid in some ways. Eventually the neck of the violin will also start to bow up. The strings will also cut into the bridge and fingerboard overtime.

That was my thought as well, but frankly, I'm not sure if that applies to PLA, and especially to nylon and/or PET-G, at least not to the measure that would make a properly built part to snap after 2 weeks. I am waiting for a black PET-G spool to arrive, so I'll try with that. If that doesn't help, I'll redesign the tailpiece. Also, I think that releasing and tuning strings on each use stresses the strings, so they might break as well.

Is there any chance you could add a separate stl for just the nut at the top of the fingerboard? I'd like to put a wooden finger board on but most don't come with a nut. If not nbd I'll try and figure out how to slice one myself.

As a luthier, I approve highly of this model. It sounds god-awful, but it's a beautiful example of what can be done. I will say, though, that the sound post adjuster is, printed flat, more trouble than it's worth. A good setter/adjuster is bent to curve into the body through the F holes.

I've got detailed scans of the old breakdowns from Strad magazine for many of the famous violins (Il Cannone, Kruse, Messiah, etc). Might be fun to recreate the body arching using some of those templates.

Oh, I missed it on my last comment, but the F-hole adjusted is intended to be heated up, and reshaped as needed. I use my heat gun.

You are absolutely right, it does sound awful flat, blunt and shallow, but it does play, and that was the goal! :)

Recreating some of the classic violins that you mention would be interesting, especially if you are after making it sound (slightly) better. Since you are a real luthier, I don't want to make it look like I am preaching to the Pope, but I'll say this for the sake of the readers: In order to achieve that one would need to recreate the resonance of the original. So, if you put aside the material (which is PLA instead of wood, that per se sounds different), one would need to make different zone thicknesses all over the front and the back plate. Even if you make the original 3D model for printing following these specs, you would have difficult times printing it on an FDM printer: when you print it laid down, the bottom side that is printed on the supports is very rough and it needs to be sanded down, which is a tedious process if you use PLA. You could print it upwards, which would result in better precision regarding the variable wall thickness, similar to printing lithophanes, but you would loose strength and would make a different resonance pattern regarding the layers being placed differently.

Still, after attaching the back plate to the ribs, one would need to manually adjust the thickness of the back plate, in order to achieve required resonance models.

Anyways, making a plastic violin that would sound half way good as a wooden one, especially using an FDM printer is pretty much impossible. Buying any of the $30 Chinese violins would be much cheaper and would provide you with a better sound - but would not be as fun and educational as printing your own.

Oh definitely. You're never going to have a great sounding violin from PLA. But you could use the woodfill PLA to make sanding a bit easier (it's 'softer') and give it a nice LOOK. For me, I'd be mostly going after a look rather than a resonance, as you just can't get much resonance from plastic (wood filled or other). Most of the resonance comes from the shape combined with the way the wood fibers interleave inside a plate. This is WHY there's such variation on the cheaper Chinese, Romanian, etc. violins -- they go specifically for a shape and ignore the individual qualities of the wood. A good master luthier will graduate each piece of wood accordingly, looking for just the right tuning and getting the maximum resonance out of it while maintaining strength. You could try doing that with plastic, but it'd still sound like plastic.

That said, having the SHAPE of one of the master violins might be fun -- if nothing else, I could have an excuse to make arching templates for some of the ones I haven't cut templates for yet. Also, it might be neat to miniaturise them as a set of ornaments or models or something.

Sorry... now I'm just thinking out loud.

Incidentally, those $30-$50 Chinese violins are usually more trouble than they're worth unless you just want something that LOOKS like a violin. Bad setup makes them hard to keep in tune, and they're often put together with wood glue, which makes them impossible to fix. You can get some phenomenally good student-grade violins from around the $200-$300 range from good Chinese makers trying to make a name for themselves. But you have to be willing to send them back if they're awful (which means wasted money in shipping and time), and most people don't want to deal with that.

But I do like this FDM project. It's fun.

Thanks for this overview on the cheap violins -- I was just wandering what's the story with them! There are quite a few reviews on YT, where violinists were left pleasantly surprised by their sound, especially when you take into account their price (aside the crappy box, strings that snap on the first tuning and the rosin that comes in pieces).

Fun it surely is, and it was interesting for me to get head first into the subject and to start understanding how and why a violin resonates. :)

No problem! Thanks for working on this project!

I made an F-hole adjuster, although plastic doesn't work for the poky-bit, so I drilled it out and use floss.

Hi there, I am a professional violist and violinist, and will be printing this in the coming weeks. I just ordered the Adimlab 3d printer with a square foot of build space. Great job on making the instrument stronger on this design!

could I ask you to upload the uncut files?

There are already too many files! :) You can use any of the many free 3D tools to place the parts you want to join next to each other, make them overlap for 0.01 mm and merge them, or use the original as suggested by MasterChief2552, if you don't mind the mods that I did.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

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