3D printing has just reached a milestone with the creation of the Hovalin, a 3D printed violin that is inspired by the Stradivarius violins.
The Hovalin is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Matt and Kaitlyn Hova who wanted to prove that an instrument's acoustic quality should not suffer just because the material used in building it is provided by MakerBot.
Matt explains that the idea of creating the Hovalin was made after they learned about the basic 3D printed violin kit known as FFFiddle when it appeared on the web in 2014. While the kit, which was designed by David Perry, has earned their attention to what 3D printing can actually do, it somehow ended up as a disappointment when after purchasing one, the product turned out as not even close to the real thing.
"After the initial excitement of the violin went away, Kait pointed out some things that she missed from her regular violin," said Matt.
Kaitlyn, by the way, is a professional violinist. She is also a neuroscientist and a software engineer at 3D Robotics. As for Matt, he has worked extensively in the fields of record production and electrical engineering.
"I started trying to reverse engineer the FFFiddle using a program called OpenSCAD. Last Christmas we ditched OpenSCAD for a better cad tool, Fusion 360," added Matt.
Kaitlyn provided some expert help and feedback along the way which added up to the growth of the Hovalin in every iteration. So far, it had around 20 or 30 iterations in total.
"The Hovalin is a functional acoustic violin that can be produced using most standard consumer 3D printers," states the official Hovalin site. "The total cost of raw materials for the violin (4/4) is currently about $70. The Hovalin was designed with Autodesk Fusion 360. Its shape and dimensions are inspired by the Stradivarius violin model."
If, for instance, 3D and violin fans have no access to a 3D printer, they can also snag a prefabricated and fully-assembled Hovalin for the price of $600.
For the serious 3D printing enthusiasts, they can get the DIY kit at $450. It includes 3D printed parts, strings, tuners and carbon fiber rods.
Fans can also opt for the various pre-printed violin parts which they can assemble on their own. The price is currently set at $300.