French violinist spent years designing futuristic, minimalist instrument.
A Stradivarius violin is considered one of the world’s most coveted classical instruments, but amateur musicians could soon be jamming on homemade Strads.
French violinist Laurent Bernadac has unveiled 3Dvarius, billed as the first fully playable 3D-printed violin.
The translucent creation is inspired by the much-coveted instruments created by Italian master Antonio Stradivari in his legendary Cremona shop in the 17th century.
However, the design was then stripped down to be as lightweight as possible and allow for extreme freedom of movement for contemporary musicians.
The 3Dvarius is essentially an electric violin and uses a magnetic pickup to detect the vibrations made by the strings and must be plugged into an amplifier.
Produced as a single piece using stereolithography – a 3D technology that prints models one layer at a time by rapidly curing a liquid polymer using UV lasers – the model had to be strong enough to withstand the tension and pressure of violin strings, which also have to be tuneable.
Bernadac revealed one of the first successful prototypes, nicknamed Pauline, in videos released this month.
The musician, whose high-energy performances blend the traditionally classical instrument with guitar, the cajon percussion box and other sounds, has spent the past few years designing the futuristic-looking 3Dvarius.