Design of the Week: Hovalin 3D Printed Violin

By on October 30th, 2017 in Design

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 The 3D printed
The 3D printed “Hovalin”

This week’s selection is the majestic 3D printed violin by Matt Hova of Hova Labs.

This project is a great demonstration of what is possible with even the most modest 3D printer: 3D printing a usable and complex musical instrument. Hova Labs explains: 

The hovalin is a functional acoustic violin that can be produced using most standard consumer 3d printers. The total cost of raw materials for the violin (4/4) is currently about $70. The hovalin was designed with Autodesk Fusion 360, and its shape and dimensions are inspired by the Stradivarius violin model.

 3D CAD view of the 3D printable Hovalin
3D CAD view of the 3D printable Hovalin

It definitely looks like a violin to my non-musician eyes, but the truth is in how it sounds. While I also do not have musician ears, you might have a listen to how this piece sounds when built: 

The Hovalin has gone through several design versions, and now rests at version 3.1.0, incorporating a number of improvements on the original. 

Designed in Autodesk Fusion 360, the Hovalin is made for you to 3D print yourself. Hova Labs provides the STL files for 3D printing from their site. 

 One of the STL 3D files for the 3D printable Hovalin
One of the STL 3D files for the 3D printable Hovalin

Surprisingly, the Hovalin contains very few parts. There are only seven in the STL set, and each of them is designed to be 3D printed without support structures, so this should be a simple item to produce on almost any 3D printer. The largest piece is the neck, which requires a 271.7mm wide build area, so that will be your constraint. If your 3D printer is smaller than this, I suppose you could cut the neck into two parts, print them separately and then carefully glue them together. 

The Hovalin 3D model is provided for free from the Hova Labs site. However, there is an interesting licensing twist: 

The Hovalin is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike. This means that you are welcome to modify and distribute the design and derivatives thereof. You must, however, maintain an open design and give credit to HOVA LLC with all derivatives and copies.

You may use The Hovalin for commercial purposes if you agree to send 10% of your gross revenue from use of the design to HOVA LLC every six months. If you wish to use assets from The Hovalin or for any reason, please contact us at [email protected]

The Hovalin by HOVA LLC ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Non-Commerical Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

This goes a bit beyond the mere “don’t use for commercial purposes”, but actually allows you to make some money with the design, so long as Hova Labs gains a piece of the action, if you wished to 3D print and sell copies. 

Hova Labs also offers the opportunity to buy the 3D printed parts and other non-3D printed components, such as strings and rods in kit form, if you don’t have a 3D printer. And of course, they also sell fully assembled versions. The kit is priced at USD$450, and the full assembled Hovalin runs at USD$600. 

Via Hova Labs

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!