It wasn’t too long ago that we reported here on a husband and wife team that added to the growing list of 3D printed musical instruments with their own contribution: an open source 3D printed violin. Yes, there have been other 3D printed violins, like the originally outstanding 3dvarius from France or Unique-3D’s acoustic violin from Russia. While both violins lay claim to incredible design work and acoustics, there’s one thing missing: they are not open source. This was the remarkable contribution of Matt and Kaitlyn Hova, who named their violin after their last name– the Hovalin. Now the Hovalin, being open source and accessible to 3D printing violin fans of all stripes, has been 3D printed in Wood PLA. It just keeps getting better for us 3D printed instrument fans, doesn’t it?
“Emulsifide” has gone ahead and jumped on this wonderful Hovalin opportunity by 3D printing one and posting about it on Reddit. Using Robo3D’s brand of Wood PLA, the Hovalin has received an upgrade (as some would call it) to a wood PLA filament. As explained by “Sabreur” on the Reddit thread, “…it’s still filament, just with an additive (cellulose?) that gives it a wood-like texture. It takes some post-processing work (sanding, wood stain) to make it look like real wood.”
Still, the outcome, with a Minwax Wood Finish Red Chestnut 232, is incredibly authentic looking! Emulsifide reports:
“I’ll be experimenting with a top coat after I’m finished playing around with the color. Given the filament is only 40% PLA, I highly doubt moisture is going to make a huge difference., but you never know. The only way to find out is to experiment!”
Speaking of experimentation, there are more ideas from people focused in on this ongoing work-in-progress open source Hovalin phenomenon. Matt Hova, one of the Hovalin’s creators, addressed Emulsifide with the news that he is “working on the official release of the V2.1…the main change (is) a “lock-in midsection that prevents the pieces from twisting.” Another Reddit reader, mr_lightman, asked Hova if there is a chance the next version could have “thinner walls” to improve its acoustics. Hova replied:
“Not opposed to thinner walls. If/when I have the time, I’d love to experiment with each multiple of 0.4. Also would be great to see if I could hollow out the outline rails, they seem to be a bit of an unnecessary retraction test.”
There is much enthusiasm from several people here. mr_lightman has hopes that through this process, a Stradivarius replica can be reached, and he has even upgraded his own 3D printer to accommodate a Hovalin print job:
“I think the future is now…with the specs of a original Strat, we SHOULD be able to print an exact replica musically speaking of a $4 million dollar violin. Filament would need to catch up…with a TRUE wood filament or something similar…but yeah that’s awesome.”
“klocwerk” jumps in here, and cautions against getting too excited about the prospects of replicating a Stradivarius:
“I approve of the excitement, but you’re using a fundamentally different material than naturally grown wood. Even Luthiers copying the specs of an original strad with old growth wood can’t quite hit it. 3d printing may eventually make a real quality instrument with excellent sound, but a true strad clone is well out of our current reach.”
It is clear from reading the conversation Emulsifide’s post sparked that the Hovalin project has certainly struck a high note (pun intended). Stay “tuned” and watch the official Hovalin V2.0 video announcement below to hear the instrument under discussion. Are you interested in the open source design? Discuss in the 3D Printed Hovalin forum over at 3DPB.com.