CT scanning of instruments is becoming more and more commonplace – so why is it so difficult to get hold of the data? Harry Mairson and Paolo Bodini enter a plea for CT information to be made more accessible to luthiers and researchers
Violin making depends on having good tools. Tools are traditionally prosthetic devices, extending what we might otherwise not be able to do with our hands. A hand plane guides us to cut straight lines, as do rulers marking their paths; a gouge embeds gentle arcs in an arching, like the compasses outlining their contours.
The familiar tools of the violin maker’s workshop are increasingly augmented by those from the digital world: CT scanning, visualisation software, 3D printing and computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machining. These new resources can help to improve the luthier’s essential understanding of canonical instruments from the ‘golden age’ of violin making. A case in point is the excellent, minutely detailed micro-CT scanning of the ‘Baron Knoop’ Bergonzi violin featured in this issue of The Strad, which gives invaluable insights into the instrument, revealing everything from the wood grain to the internal craftsmanship…
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