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Demonstrating the potential of e-Manufacturing, Germany company EOS (Electro Optical Systems) have printed a violin! The 3D printed violin was produced in days and demonstrates how rapid prototyping technology can be applied to conventional manufacturing process across a wide range of industries as a tool for overcoming production challenges.

Renowned for their artisanal craftsmanship each Stradiviarius stringed instrument has been designed to the unique and complex specifications of  the Stradivarius brand.  A highly labour intensive process each violin produced consists of about five hundred work steps and usually takes up to three months of handicraft time.

Manufactured in a high performance industrial polymer (EOS PEEK HP3) the entire body was grown within hours on a laser-sintering machine. This form of 3D printing involves the use of a high powered laser to fused small material particles layer by layer until the 3D product is fully built. With the help of a traditional violin maker the body was then assembled and additional components including strings, fine tuners and the peg box were added.

The real test came next, would the 3D printed violin sound like a violin should. To my untrained ear the project appears to have been a success (watch the video below to decide for yourself).

3D printed musical  instruments may prove a popular option for those seeking an inexpensive alternative to what can often be a major investment.

Continued here: Can 3D printing make musical instruments more affordable?

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