Oliver Allaux started playing the violin at age 3, so when he took the course Methods and Materials with Mark Parsons, director of production and technology in the School of Architecture, building a violin was an opportunity for Allaux to indulge in a lifelong interest while testing the skills he had gained after four years at Pratt.
Allaux crafted two full-size violins using a CNC miller, laser cutter, and 3-D printer, as well as traditional wood and metal shops. First, he found two-dimensional plans on the Internet for a violin modeled on the Stradivarius. Then he transferred the design into the software program, Rhino, and created the templates. Next, he used a CNC miller to cut out the large pieces of wood that compose the body of the violin. Finally, using a large-scale 3-D printer the smaller parts were formed out of plastic silicate powder. Production for each violin took two days. Small design tweaks in the second violin made for a slightly different sound.