Someone has 3D-printed a six-string electric violin, because sure why not

5 February 2018, 14:14

A violinist wanted to play a work for a six-stringed electric violin by American composer John Adams, but didn’t have one to hand – so he printed one for himself.

Sean Riley wanted to play a piece called The Dharma at Big Sur by minimalist composer John Adams, a piece that requires a six-string electric violin.

As you might imagine, six-string electric violins aren’t exactly easy to come by. So, Sean employed engineer Daniel Goodwin and sculptor Rebecca Milton, who were working at The Foundry – a makerspace for new projects.

Together, they designed the violin parts, then printed them and constructed the pieces in the shape of a violin.

“I feel like I’m not even playing a violin anymore. It’s something different,” says Sean.

“This is a piece of art. My idea of what the music world can look like, what my career’s going to look like, has changed drastically.”

3D printing has led to some bizarre and exciting developments in instrument manufacture. For example, anyone could create their own Stradivarius violin – here’s a 3D-printed Stradivarius violin, played by Korina Papadodima: