At its most basic, the Modular Fiddle can be played like any other violin. But creator David Perry designed this instrument to explore the many different physical component shapes and tones made possible with 3D printing.

"Currently, a 3D-printed violin cannot match the sound quality of even a mediocre wooden instrument," said Perry. "We should not try to match the quality – instead we should try to create different sound."

The body, neck, pegbox and bridge of Perry's Modular Fiddle have all been 3D-printed. For those who want to use the project's online build plans to create their very own version, components like strings, tuners, tail piece and chin rest will need to be purchased separately, though at least a couple of items on that shopping list could be 3D-printed after sourcing or creating an appropriate print file. Oh, and you'll need a bow too.

Perry says that all of the 3D-printed parts can be swapped out in about 10 minutes, meaning that different body shapes can be tried, various neck materials and, as demonstrated in the video below, strange and unique bridge designs. First Perry plays a song using a traditional wooden violin, and then you can hear him play the same tune on an open-source Hovalin – designed by Hova Labs – and then on a couple of Modular Fiddles.

Printed and fully assembled Modular Fiddles are available direct from Perry for US$550 each, or you could freely download the source files and build instructions, and go shopping for the non-printed components before building your own.

Source: OpenFab PDX

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