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Meet Karen Ultralight, the coolest violin ever made

Katahashi Instruments and Anima Design 3D printed it using MJF technology and recyclable polyamide

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Katahashi Instruments is a Japanese violin maker that inherits and is inspired by the Japanese musical instruments tradition, starting with the Japanese government’s policy of adopting Western concepts at the end of the 19th century. That tradition has now led to Karen Ultralight, an electric violin 3D printed using MJF technology and recyclable polyamide material.

The earliest makers of violins in Japan were Sadajiro Matunaga and Masakichi Suzuki (b.1859–d.1944). Both were trained as shamisen makers and began making violins based on instruments brought to Japan toward the end of the 19th century from Western sources, using Japanese pine and maple and sometimes sycamore. In 1880, proceeding with a Westernization policy, the Japanese government had instituted teacher training programs for lessons in piano, organ, and violin.

The Karen Ultralight violin, available for €1,850 euro, features a futuristic 3D printed frame made by computational design provided by Spanish studio Anima Design. This ensures high-quality sound and quality combined with perfect ergonomics and ultralight weight.

Along with the 3D printed frame made from recyclable polyamide, the Size: 4/4 Karen Ultralight violin features a maple body, with a birch fingerboard, jujube tuning pegs and chinrest, an active pickup system, with headphone output and jack output. It also comes with a case, shoulder rest, composite bow, rosin and 9V battery.

Meet Karen Ultralight, the coolest violin ever made. Katahashi Instruments and Anima Design 3D printed it using MJF technology

The four different versions of the Karen Ultralight electric violin, all available at the same price, include Black Piano + Carbon Fiber and Pearl White + Carbon Fiber finish, as well as Dark Platinum + Carbon Fiber and Red Copper + Carbon Fiber finishes.

Anima Design, the Barcelona-based studio that contributed to creating the design, specializes in generating new concepts to achieve original, novel products set to triumph on the market. The studio uses the latest technology in design tools, with the aim of offering clients the utmost in efficiency and optimum results and quality.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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