3D Printed Chinrests

September 17, 2016 at 06:11 PM · Has anyone ever seen one of these before? I was just walking around a campus visit at Georgia Tech and my tour guide (a clarinet player) was telling us the story of how she last minute 3D printed a mouth piece for her instrument to practice until she could get a new one ordered (all sorts of technology/equipment is available for students to use on the fly for free there). So, it kind of struck me that why not do this? Perhaps it won't be the most visually appealing thing out there, but you could get a 100% custom chinrest that you could design to perfectly fit your own chin. If you are good with design and software that is. They would most certainly be light weight as well. Any thoughts, or has anyone seen one of these before?

Replies (12)

September 17, 2016 at 07:43 PM · Bailey, with 3D printers, you have to worry about cost, strength of materials and quality of the printer.

I'm certain you can make one that is a perfect custom fit, but you'll probably want to mold it on your chin and dummy violin, then use the dimensions on the mold to design the chinrest.

If you want to do this, and have it printed with good quality printer, with good materials, you're looking at about at least $80 for a chinrest. You could also ask someone who does a lot of carving/woodworking to do the same.

A colleague of mine actually is currently in process of 3D printing an entire violin(acoustic). He's been at it since January this year.

September 17, 2016 at 08:32 PM · I wouldn't use one from the aesthetic point of view. How about all the fittings in a matching wood? Ebony, boxwood, pernambuco, or rosewood. For me, no plastic or synthetics for violins, bows, or cases please.

Cheers Carlo

September 17, 2016 at 08:36 PM · Beware of perfect fit of CR / SR!

The fit has to be good enough, but not 100% negative of the shape of your chin / shoulder.

One needs freedom of movement when holding a violin.

September 17, 2016 at 09:00 PM · What Rocky said!

Perfect fit can be achieved by a competent wood carver, but you want some wiggle room there, literally. ;)

Carlo, I believe I have seen now some 3D printers that use what's basically pulverized wood with a binder resin, so you could print a chinrest that wouldn't be exactly just plastic... but wouldn't be exactly wood either.

Still, if you're gonna have a machine make you violin parts, CNC is still the machine of choice. Just load up your favorite wood, press a button, and watch it sculpt and put out of work people with actual talent who do it by hand. ..I sound like Lyndon there don't I? ;)

September 17, 2016 at 09:13 PM · Fox, I thought Lyndon would scream to ditch the chinrest?

September 17, 2016 at 09:47 PM · I'd still prefer my fittings to be crafted out of natural wood by hand by an artisan paid properly for their labour. Preferably in the West.

Cheers Carlo

September 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM · @Steven ABS/PLA filament doesn't cost any where near $80 and there shouldn't be any issue with quality. Like I said, I was on Georgia Tech campus where they have numerous multi thousand dollar 3d printers for free student use. In terms of aesthetics I agree, but if you sand it smooth and coat it in a black gloss paint, then what is the difference?

September 18, 2016 at 03:42 PM · Well, if it's a free student use, that's different. In public libaries, they charge way too much for 3D printing. Also, ABS/PLA should be treated before being used.

September 19, 2016 at 02:38 AM · I think it's well worth exploring.

September 19, 2016 at 02:59 AM · What Rocky said.

September 19, 2016 at 03:15 AM · Yes when I first tried Berber chin rest I thought, wow, it fits like a glove. Then I also noticed I cannot move. Then comes the tension.

3D printing is a cool idea. I think it could be used for some violin or bow parts such as bow tip plates, etc. Lots of universities (such as VT) now have service labs where people can sign up to design and produce 3D printed objects, so you can expect, once in a way, that some musician will come up with some cool project. Why not try it, I say.

September 19, 2016 at 02:49 PM · Recently, on another thread Peter Charles advised to let the chin touch the CR only on down shifts, which of course would get rid of "perfect fit" problems. Sound advice.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
your donation
or sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Zhuhai International Mozart Competition - Apply by April 30, 2017

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Bobelock Cases



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Long Island Violin Shop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Study with Simon Fischer in Michigan, July 31-Aug 4