AMS Spring 2023

Next Phase of Development Begins for The Hovalin, An Open Source 3D Printed Violin

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hova3The Hovalin, developed by Matt and Kaitlyn Hova, is a open source 3D printed violin that has received much attention since the first version was released. Now the next phase of development has begun for the Hovalin 3.0, and Matt Hova has posted a blog entry and started a Reddit thread about the project that always keeps improving in a collaborative effort by many Hovalin fans.

In the Hovalin website blog post, Hova explains what the most recent plans are for the latest version. First, version 3.0 will “move away from the current carbon fiber rectangle to an 8 mm rod.” Also, a lock will be created that will be used to keep the top and bottom pieces together. Custom brims to prevent warping will be added, as well as possible chin and shoulder rests. Finally, Hova wants to “work out a new system for distributing multiple options for the .stls including files with brim, files without brim, pre-sliced files with supports for the middle piece.” There are many changes in the works here, as you can see from just this list alone.

hova1One of the most impressive aspects of the Hovalin, in my estimate, is not only that the design is open source, but that the Hova team has been so good about communicating its latest revisions and intentions to all interested parties. For example, you can check out the latest CAD files here to see the Hovalin 3.0 in progress.

On Reddit, people have expressed enthusiasm for the latest Hovalin plans. One user by the name of “ImGumbyDamnIt” remarks on Hova’s intention to replace the carbon fiber rectangle:

“You will go a long way toward holding the body together with the snap fit that you are designing, especially if you use a bit of glue. To that, you could add additionally printed vertical ribs, like the bass bar that is found in the underside of the top of a wood violin, under the G string. You could dovetail this in place first by sliding it into the mid section, than snapping on the top and bottom, also with dovetail groves for the ribs.”

ImGumbyDamnIt also has advice for Hova on how to firmly fasten the violin’s neck — just to give a few examples of suggested improvements.

hova4“patcheudor” also pipes in here, explaining a “major issue” with the Hovalin 2.0:

“…the major issue I had with the 2.0 is that when the strings are tensioned, the entire body compresses on the front of the instrument while being in tension on the back, as a result gaps open up on the back so if you go with a locking mechanism, it’s only likely necessary on the back. Personally, I’m comfortable with superglue and plastic welding but I understand that a lot of people aren’t.”

Given Hova’s own post about the plans for the 3.0, and all of the suggestions coming from people who have been engaged with the open source Hovalin project since it began, we see how the design of this musical instrument is truly a collective work in progress. I look forward to seeing what comes from all of these efforts a couple of months from now. Are you interested in a 3D printed instrument? Discuss this one further in the Hovalin 3.0 3D Printed Violin forum over at 3DPB.com.

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