Friday, December 9, 2011

A Flight Through a Stradivarius

It's only a matter of time before these start showing up in Chinese markets for $20.

From New Scientist...
When radiologist Steve Sirr ended up with a violin in the emergency room, he couldn't help putting it through a CT scan. [T]he idea led him to team up with two violin makers to create the most accurate replicas to date of a Stradivarius violin. Using the 3D scanning technology, Sirr and his team were able to determine the precise shape, rib structure, wood density and volume of air inside a Betts Stradivarius violin.

To create a replica, the virtual model is fed to a bespoke machine designed by violinmaker Steve Rossow. Based on the images, the device directs a lathe and carves each piece of the violin out of various types of wood. Then the segments are assembled and varnished by hand. 
Thanks to the new technique, copies are so realistic that the team has branded each piece to prevent counterfeiting. It doesn't just look the part. This Betts copy sounds like a Stradivarius, too. "It looks beautiful, and it sounds beautiful," says John Waddle, one of the violin makers who worked on the project.

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