Researchers Use CT to Recreate Stradivarius Violin

Quelle: http://www.rsna.org/Media/rsna/RSNA11_newsrelease_target.cfm?id=562

CHICAGO — Using computed tomography (CT) imaging and advanced manufacturing techniques, a team of experts has created a reproduction of a 1704 Stradivarius violin. Three-dimensional images of the valuable violin and details on how the replica was made were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"CT scanning offers a unique method of noninvasively imaging a historical object," said Steven Sirr, M.D., a radiologist at FirstLight Medical Systems in Mora, Minn. "Combined with computer-aided machinery, it also offers us the opportunity to create a reproduction with a high degree of accuracy."

Antonio Stradivari, an Italian who lived from 1644 to 1737, is regarded as history's greatest violin maker. Of the estimated 1,000 violins Stradivari made, about 650 still exist and are highly prized for their unique sound quality. There are many theories but no simple explanation for the superiority of the Stradivarius. Many factors influence a violin's sound, from the qualities of the wood to the instrument's shape, degree of arching and wood thickness.

To create a violin with the same characteristics as the 1704 instrument known as "Betts," Dr. Sirr worked with professional violin makers John Waddle and Steve Rossow of St. Paul, Minn.

"We have two goals: to understand how the violin works and to make reproductions of the world's most prized violins available for young musicians who can't afford an original," Dr. Sirr said.

The original violin was scanned with a 64-detector CT, and more than 1,000 CT images were converted into stereolithographic files, which can be read by a computer-controlled router called a CNC machine. The CNC machine, custom-made for the project by Rossow, then carved the back and front plates and scroll of the violin from various woods. Finally, Waddle and Rossow finished, assembled and varnished the replica by hand.

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