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Electric Ukelele & Viola, Violin or Octave Violin Build Answered

I am searching for inexpensive means to create aesthetically pleasing electric stringed instruments. I started this project when I started playing viola years after I was forced to quit private lessons. I discovered the F-f-fiddle on openfab.com which is a super rad 3d printed electric violin but since I do not have access to any 3D printer in the tiny town which I reside in, I sent the files to an online 3D printing business and they quoted me at least $500 just for the Fffiddle body! I didn't even bother to ask for a quote on the electric ukelele which I want to print & build so badly as well. I am interested in this project so that I can possibly help low income public school students in creating their own instruments to inspire them to take up an instrument and show them how much fun it can be to create something by yourself rather than buy. I am especially interested in acrylic plastic/lucite/celluloid, resins, exotic wood, recycled plastics, plastic injection molding, piezo pickups, and any other interesting materials that could be incorporated into these projects. I have been studying luthier tools, supplies, etc, along with design/fabrication of lucite/acrylic stringed instruments, furniture and other home goods. 3D printing/scanning, vintage celluloid guitar finishes, pre amps, recycling plastic bottles, landfill harmonic instruments, leather, pearl inlay, metallic finishes, enameling kilns, metal smithing, hand engraving & everything in between. I have been a mixed media artist for nearly my entire life and my father was a jeweler. I am going to find a way to create some functional and beautiful instruments no matter how long it takes me to narrow down the right combination of materials and how to make them, model them, mold them, dye them, etc! The photos attached are simply inspirational photos which I have collected over the past 6-8 months. Many of them are possibly patented, licensed, etc and I do NOT want to simply RIP OFF any of these photos! Please email me at svbacklund@gmail.com if you believe you could help me with my low income student instruments program or leads on 3d printing grants for public schools or anything else that may help me on my latest project or contact me directly via my instructables question here. I especially am interested in creating an electric violin which incorporates both classical and contemporary design. Any advice? Could you help?

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SVBacklunda

3 months ago

I appreciate your advice & great ideas, Downunder35m & RJF! I have yet to find anyone to help me with some 3D printing on thingverse.com so I believe I am going to have to resort to purchasing a sheet of acrilex & pay for fabrication (cuts/drilling holes/beveled outer edges) which won't be cheap but I want this 1st electric octave violin to be perfect in every aspect. I may pay to have chinrests/tailpieces 3d printed or I may create a mold for resin and layer vintage sharkskin fabric within and carve other. Wish my jeweler father was still around to hand tool and engrave a tailpiece or still had my papa's trinket enameling kiln which he patented to tool a copper tailpiece then enamel. Ultimately I have all capabilities as far as skills & design but refuse to cut corners where lacking resources and funding which unfortunately happens to be every aspect of the instrument right now, lol.
Thank you again for your input! I have reached out on a few different sites including thingverse.com and fiddle forum as well. I am a resourceful person & if applicable, will share my build here whenever I am finally able to. It will happen!!!

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Downunder35m

4 months ago

Maybe not what you hoped for but anyways:
If you have some half decent wood working skills it is not too hard to make a violin body from wood.
There are even quite a few online videos showing the making of similar instruments from scratch.
More or less just a frame with thin wood panels shaped around it - and wood still produces the best look if you ask me.
And if you really go electric then the sound qualities of the body can be neglected quite a bit.
Maybe you are just overthinking the problem!?
Let me give you a prototyping example:
Take a block of polystyrene and carve, file and sand a body out of it.
Put a sealer on the entire surface and give it a fine sanding, then a thin coat of mold release wax or a similar agent.
Use fibreglass strips or matting plus the corresponding resin to cover the body on all sides.
Outside look is not too important.
Once cured cut it open along the sides and remove the foam dummy.
You just created a mold you can use for making more bodies ;)

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RJF

4 months ago

You may want to study the various mold making techniques. Than its a matter of finding a instrument to mold from and the material to melt and pour into the mold. The 3D printing is nothing more than a controled head with melted plastic/fiber. Plastic, resins could be melted or mixed to pour in the mold and create the basic instrument structure. RJF

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SVBacklunda

4 months ago

More inspirational images......acrylic, recycled plastics, other instruments that inspire me....*instruments depicted are the creations of other artists and may be patented, I am showing examples of styles and materials I am partial to. I have no intention of ripping off and copying these instruments.

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