Violins made by Antonio Stradivari are highly prized for their unique sound quality. Dr. Steven Sirr, a Minnesota radiologist who worked with professional violin makers John Waddle and Steve Rossow to create the replica, said many factors influence a violin's sound, from the qualities of the wood to the instrument's shape, degree of arching and wood thickness.
He presented three-dimensional images of the 1704 violin and details on how the replica was made at a meeting Monday of the Radiological Society of North America.
"CT scanning offers a unique method of non-invasively imaging a historical object," Sirr said in a release. "Combined with computer-aided machinery, it also offers us the opportunity to create a reproduction with a high degree of accuracy."
Sirr said the goal was 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.
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 to carve the back and front plates and scroll of the violin from various woods.
"We believe this process of recreating old and valuable stringed instruments may have a profound influence upon modern string musicians," Sirr said.