Modular Fiddle -- a 3D printed acoustic

Hi all,

I’ve released files for a new 3D printed violin – the Modular Fiddle!

I couldn’t decide what I wanted my “next” F-F-Fiddle to be, so I decided to not decide, and instead focused on making something that allows easy experimentation. Currently I’ve designed it to be the best acoustic I can print on a medium sized printer, and to require very little assembly work.

I’ve uploaded all my design files, and you can find them all on my website. It’s also on the Thingiverse. Here’s a video comparing the Modular Fiddle, Hovalin, and a traditional acoustic.

Please build one and then remix the heck out of it!

Eventually I’d like to create a travel instrument with pickups – something a little quiet, small, but that can be plugged in when desired. Additionally, I’ll be working on using generative design techniques to create novel shapes and to see what changes I can make to the sound of the instrument. I hope that other folks will try all sorts of stuff! There are some easy ways to improve the instrument’s sound, and probably many ways that I haven’t thought of.

Let me know your thoughts, questions, and ideas. Go make one!


Cool! If I had a 3D printer I’d be building one now. (I have a CNC router).

  1. Cool! I wonder if we can make it modular body that would make it electric too.
  2. Why did you put the pegs on the end? How does it effect center of gravity? Are these the same pegs as something like this
  3. How much does it weigh?

Ghobii – got any friends with a reasonably large printer? I’m also selling printed parts kits, shoot me an email if you’re interested.


  1. Yes, you could definitely make an electric body. It’s on my to-do list for someday…

  2. I chose to put the pegs there for a number of reasons. The most important of which is to improve acoustics, and to make it easier to remove the body of the instrument. If I were to design an electric, and did not care about acoustics, I would definitely move them back towards the player to reduce the perceived mass of the instrument.
    -Yes, you can definitely feel the weight of the tuners out there. It’s OK, but not great. It doesn’t feel out of balance, though.
    -Those tuners look just fine. I think they might be drop-in replacements for the Grover Champion Sta-tites, which are also 8mm and have a press in bushing. Try the Pegbox-Grover-3055 print for your pegbox.

  3. They’re coming in between 580 and 620 grams fully built with chin rests (but no shoulder rest). My acoustic, for reference, is 510. The tuners are definitely heavier than a traditional peg, but also much lighter than most machine heads.

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I recorded a quick video with my phone this morning. Check it out on YouTube.

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I like the video, I have a feeling we could play Irish tunes together if we ever meet :smile:

BTW, if you want to move the pegs back to the body, and you still want fine tuners, you might be able to use these:

Looks like it works (also 6 string in progress):

Nice, those fine tuners are cool!

Hopefully we get the chance someday! That would be super fun. Who knows, maybe in ten years there can be a 3D printed / digital design string instrument conference and we can all jam.

A new video is up on YouTube. This time I’m comparing my traditional acoustic, the Hovalin, and two Modular Fiddles. One ModFiddle has a ‘standard’ PLA bridge, while the other has the Generative Bridge. Here ya go:

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BTW, googling says:

I have a decent 70 year old violin but no way to measure it. I will try and ask around. There is a correlation found between weight and quality of a violin.
Still, you can hear the woodiness timbre in your wood violin.

Hey, what are you trying to say about my wooden fiddle?!?! :wink:

I took off my shoulder rest and it weights in at 470. At least I’m not over 500g! Phew! My wooden instrument is nothing special. It’s worth about $2K and Chinese made. A good fiddle, but the setup is a little non-standard and I suppose it is a bit heavy… My local VERY classy violin shop and luthiery basically sneered at it, lol.

Yes, lighter instruments tend to be more responsive and are definitely considered superior. Joseph Curtain is soon to make an ultralight, and he has some good info on his sight about violin innovation.

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No insult intended to your violin :sweat_smile:. They also note that there are exceptions and its a general rule.

BTW, the part you listed is out of stock now.
Also, this link seems to be broken:

Ordered the cheaper pegs to test them.

Thanks for the heads up re: the broken link. I decided to bundle the files on my website – I’m surprised you found that page at all!

You can download individual stl files on the Thingiverse.

Have you tested those pegs? Let me know how they do!


Israel sucks in mail delivery, those pegs probably would take about 10 more days. It takes about a month for stuff to arrive here.

Ukelele pegs arrived, looks good. In combination with the suzuki fine tuners it will shave off some more weight.

Cool, someone forked it:

@dsp39 Do we want to bring those guys here?

I don’t have much to add, but that was a pretty cool demo!

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There is a newer version for the Modular fiddle:

Man I printed this, got the parts necessary, and put all together. It sounds wayyyyy better than my $1k violin! I’m in love with the sound! You are a rockstar for this thing! Thanks so much for making it possible. Any chance on doing a ukulele?

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I think @dsp39 mostly works on violins. @Arnon_Zamir I remember tried to do a ukulele once.

Welcome to the site!