Traditional wooden violins are expensive. They can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That high price tag prevents many people from learning to play the instruments. Concert violinist Mary-Elizabeth Brown wants to get more violins into the hands of young people by 3-D printing them at a much lower cost.
Brown is the director of the AVIVA Young Artists Program in Montreal, Canada. She’s working on a violin design made from plastic that anyone can create using a personal 3-D printer—a device that builds up layers of material to make solid objects. The instruments cost only $7 to make. “That means more people can try them and make music,” says Brown.