3D Print of a Ruggeri violin scroll

Posted on | January 25, 2011 | 4 Comments|

One of the important tools I use in the workshop are casts taken from great antique instruments. Our collection includes old style casts made from Plaster of Paris and more modern and durable plastic resin casts. We use these at the bench as a reference or inspiration while copying an instrument while the actual instrument is back with it’s owner.

There are many ways to make casts off an instrument and while it is a safe procedure there is a lot of handling of the instrument. Many private owners of historic instruments or museums are hesitant to have this done.

An alternative technique we have been exploring is 3D laser scanning and 3D printing.  A while ago we scanned a violin by Francesco Ruggeri (from Cremona, Italy, 1672)  at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa.  The scanner collected data off the surface of the violin in the X, Y and Z  axis to form a virtual 3D computer model. With the data from the scan I had a solid 3D print made of the scroll. (shown below)













At the moment I’m organizing the 3D printing of the body of the Ruggeri violin.  From the 3D print I can take measurements, make templates and study to make a copy. I look forward to see how this technology can be futher incorporated into our workshop.


4 Responses to “3D Print of a Ruggeri violin scroll”

  1. James
    January 27th, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    That is extremely impressive. I had never really thought about this technology being applied this way.

  2. Berl Mendenhall
    March 10th, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    This is exiting. How is this type of thing done. Do you run a scanner over the object, store the information in a special computer program, and use that program to guide a CNC machine to cut it out? I know very little about this kind of technology so I’m probably way off here,

  3. Julian Cossmann Cooke
    March 11th, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    The Economist recently ran an article on this technology. The cover showed a 3D copy of a fiddle. Unfortunately, that was just a tease — no discussion of the fiddle in the article.

  4. Richard Backes
    November 15th, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I was wondering if you’d heard of anyone doing scans of famous instruments/scrolls these days. An online library of scroll scans would be an amazing educational resource, albeit for a fairly small community.

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    Guy Harrison Violin Maker
    792 Gladstone Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1R 6X9
    Tel: 613 569 4803

    1997 Silver medal for viola in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2010 Bronze medal for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2014 Workmanship award for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2016 Silver Workmanship medal for cello in the VSA Violin Making Competition, USA.

    Member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers and Violin Society of America.

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