The 1st SLA 3D Printed Violin is Clearly Awesome

3D printing offers a great deal of possibility for the world of music, from custom instruments at a reasonable price to completely new forms of music.  And, while the first 3D printed violin from 3D Varius doesn’t necessarily take advantage of the technology to create new sounds, its construction from clear resin via the SLA printing process does demonstrate a simplified manufacturing process and just how beautiful an instrument can be when made with 3D printing.

Modeled after the real Stradivarius violin and designed by Laurent Bernadac, 3D Varius’s first violin, named Pauline, is 3D printed in one single piece, streamlining the manufacturing process into a single step, after the CAD file was created.  Once Bernadac had conceived of the design with pen and paper, the designer, also a violinist, took to CATIA V5 to create the 3D model. The idea was to keep the violin light and optimally tailored to the musician’s movements, while ensuring that sound traveled well through the structure and the strings had the proper resistance.

Next the instrument was 3D printed on a 3D Systems stereolithography machine, before being post-processed, with support structures removed and the print cleaned. Pauline then underwent UV polymerization, meant to prolong the life of the instrument due to the gradual degradation of SLA prints exposed to the elements. Finally, the print was sanded and the non-printed elements attached. The result, as you can see and hear below, is pretty awesome.

Given the fact that this instrument is named Pauline and labeled “Number 1”, I suspect this is only the first of more instruments to come from 3D Varius.