Violin (Carbon Fiber), Engineering and Tooling
Design and engineering of a carbon fiber violin with classical dimensions and great acoustic quality.
Hi, I am Matt Watson. Welcome to my Kickstarter project!
The purpose of this project is to introduce to you my prototype for a Carbon Fiber (graphite) Violin.
This will be the first Carbon Fiber Violin to preserve the classic features of one of the most beautiful instruments ever created. It will keep the all scrollwork, over hangs and cornices.
I started this project about 2.5 years ago. I have 4 completed violin prototypes and dozens of sound boards, all of varying degrees of quality. The result of all of these experiments is a carbon fiber violin that can produce high quality acoustic sound.
I only have one final question: Can the materials be formed into the complex shapes required to achieve a violin of classic design? The answer to this all depends on the quality of the tools and molds used in its construction, and that is where the Kickstarter project comes in.
As of now, the hand made tools and molds that I have cannot take me to the next level of development. I need machined molds made from cnc milled aluminum with embedded heating coils. This will require digitization and a lot of engineering.
I hope that this Kickstarter project will be able to provide me with the funds needed to get to this next step of development.
So, why this project? Why a carbon fiber violin? First of all because it is a challenge to see if it is possible. But more importantly to create a violin with modern materials that are not effected by changes in temperature and can produce a high quality performance sound without loosing the classic look and appearance that makes a violin a violin.
I chose the constraint of preserving all the classic dimensions of the violin because no one else is doing it (and because I think it looks better).
So why Carbon fiber? It's really cool! Actually, Carbon fiber or graphite is an exceptionally strong material and the same time it is very dynamic and moldable. It has a big advantage over wood in that it is much easier to consistently reproduce the same product. Also, it does not go out of tune due to changes in humidity because carbon fiber is incredibly stable in a wide variety of temperatures and humidity.
Carbon fiber allows for uniform and consistent quality in its performance. It also permits these characteristics to be manipulated to modify the tone and acoustic qualities in the final product.
The ultimate goal would be to produce a violin that is performance grade and will find its own place on the world stage.
The scope of this project is to address the next step in the evolution of this carbon fiber violin. I need to pay for the engineering and programming for tools and molds that can produce the next generation of prototypes followed by the initial run of violins
The engineering and molds will allow for the consistent production of a carbon fiber instrument that is the shape of a violin with a high quality finish; however, that is not what creates a great sounding violin. As I have learned from my prototype many factors affect the sound and quality of a violin, such as material selection, fiber weave and direction, thickness and density. So once I receive the molds I can start on the process of perfecting how exactly to produce the best violin possible. But all of this fine tuning and experimenting should be possible based on the original molds that are created. Enabling me to make my initial run of high quality instruments using this first set of tooling.
So, I invite you to take a look at my project and consider if this is something that you would like to be a part of.
Risks and challenges
Since I am trying to purchase new tools and molds to continue development there isn't a whole lot that can go wrong. In this case money = supplies, not an attempt to enter the market place, at least not yet. That would be a different project. However, with any engineering project there is risk of unforeseen problems that would create a mold that is unable to produce a high quality instrument. I think my experience with carbon fiber and molds minimizes this risk but it does still exist.
Most of the challenges to the project, as it is, have been resolved. When moving forward with new tooling I am sure there will be some things to resolve that haven't presented themselves yet. I anticipate these challenges to revolve around final cosmetic appearance not acoustic performance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)