Many 3D printers can clearly print some really cool things, but skeptics of the popular desktop 3d printer people mistakenly assume that these devices aren’t useful for making functioning objects. In some pretty cool news from Michigan, an 11-year-old has put that myth to bed by printing a working violin from his own home. Not only has Dane Jarvis shown exceptional skill and innovation in printing this instrument, he now plans to start his own violin 3D printing business.
Dane’s interest in music stretches back to when he was eight years old when he began studying violin under Lisa Bayer of the Prelude String Orchestra. His mentor mentioned the possibility to 3D print instruments, and Dane immediately started to save money. He eventually purchased his own desktop printer and got to work, using his enterprise and passion for engineering. With the help of Bayer, Dane printed a violin inspired by the world-famous Stradivarius violin model. The impressive result is a very accurate depiction of what a violin normally looks like.
The printing process took around 24 hours, with a few mishaps along the way. The precision involved is admirable for a hobbyist–the neck of the instrument alone has 180 layers. Dane also extensively sanded, cleaned, and eventually stringed the instrument so that the acoustics are just right.
The most important part of this process was the sound check. This is because the actual functionality of the device sets it apart from other home-printed instruments that look good but don’t sound like the real thing. According to Dane’s mentor, a veteran violinist herself, the results are really good. It plays very well, with the proviso that it is slightly quieter than a conventional violin.
Dane’s business model could inspire a musical revolution in American schools, all thanks to clever use of 3D printing. Moreover, he plans to print plenty more violins and sell them for $250. This represents a substantial saving compared to standard violins that often cost upwards of $800. The most heart-warming aspect of all this is that a fifth grader has shown just what can be achieved in 3D printing with hard work and an unrelenting passion for it.
More and more people becoming interested in the world of additive manufacturing. Who knows what kind of innovations will spring up in homes across the globe over the coming years?
If you want to check out the violin in action, feel free to view the below video.