The 3Dvarius has indeed just been launched on Kickstarter—but if you need a major kickstart to your morning, afternoon, or eve, just sneak a watch at the video below. Wow! What a sound. Of course it takes more than a little musical prowess to play a violin at that level, but in just a few short seconds, Laurent Bernadac proves the power of his incredible design—and for those who are musically inclined, this impressive display of technology and beauty should prove tempting.
Laurent Bernadac and Géraldine Puel, both of France, created the 3D printed violin, inspired—as many have been now for hundreds of years—by the work of master artisan Antonio Stradivari. And although it’s safe to say that Stradivari will forever be impossible to outdo, Bernadac has created a modern niche of his own, and he pays homage to one of history’s most famous creators of musical instruments with his electric violin patterned after the Stradivarius. This is a 3D printing mindblower as well, with the instrument being made in one piece, offering a bit of a fabrication feat as well as affording superior soundwave, high quality pickup, high gain without noise, and direct acoustics sound.
The idea for the instrument came to Bernadac, a violinist and mechanical engineer, several years ago. Within that brainstorm, he knew he wanted to make an electric violin and aspired to fulfill all the needs of a classical musician with it. No short order for sure, Bernadac spent four years researching and working with Puel before his second prototype, made on an SLA 3D printer, was brought to fruition. And the first prototype? It was completely handcrafted by Bernadac, but ultimately was too heavy. Refinements ensued as he worked to meet his goal: to create an electric violin in perfect symbiosis with the musician.
To allow for that symbiosis, the 3D printed electric violin (named Pauline, by the way) is lightweight and the musician can move freely, along with using any shoulder rest. It does not require a preamp due to an excellent sound sensor, according to Bernadac, who points out on Kickstarter that this instrument was designed also with the idea of preventing tendonitis, with the center of gravity closer to the shoulder.
It takes about 24 hours to print one violin, and then post processing requires great care and precision to clean the body, sand all the right areas perfectly, and perform stringing and tuning.
The reason for the Kickstarter campaign, where Bernadac and his team hope to raise €50,000 (about $56,586 USD) by June 17, is to begin small volume production of the 3D printed violins. Early bird backers can purchase their own limited edition 3DVarius for €6,299, to include a private concert in Paris and other goodies as well, with shipping estimated to begin in December. And even if you aren’t a musician or aren’t quite up to this expense level yet with an instrument, the Kickstarter page is worth checking out for the musical entertainment—and be warned—you may find you have trouble leaving as you become mesmerized by the talents of Bernadac and his friends.
Are you a musician who might be interested in backing this campaign? Let’s discuss further over in the 3D Printed 3Dvarius Violin forum at 3DPB.com.