I'm glad to see that our new acoustic bridge is being discussed here. The product is called the RZN bridge. There is nothing magical about this bridge; we are using material science and 3D printing to manufacture a budget acoustic bridge.
I am writing this post to provide additional information on the RZN bridge, the technology behind it, and the "why" we made it under the context of a long, proven tradition of wood bridge carving.
Firstly, a bridge that can fit itself to an instrument is not a novel concept. There are several attempts at wooden / metal designs that offer similar functionality.
Our approach is novel. Like one forum member guessed, the bridges are formed using a UV curable resin. The greenware part is selectively cured so that the legs and footings can bend slightly to adjust to different tops before curing fully in natural light. This allows us to create a bridge that fits itself, and, compared to a blank or pre-fitted wooden bridges, generally offers superior contact and transmission.
The purpose of the RZN bridge is to make learning and sticking with a stringed instrument easier.
Violin, like any musical artform, should not be a rich man's volition. Traditional luthier's charge anywhere from $50 to $250 for a violin bridge cutting service. When one can go on Amazon and purchase a full student instrument setup for as little as $150, it is no surprise that entry-level musicians are using DIY methods or playing on low quality setups with marginal acoustics.
A wood bridge is a unique work; an intersection of the individual luthier's skill and matching the right blank to the instrument. I've played and seen plenty of mediocre wood bridges and personally dread replacing the soul of my instrument. There is a good reason skilled luthier's charge a hefty fee for their services.
Covid has made access to bridge cutting services more difficult. Many luthier's are retiring or simply closing shop. Between unaffordable prices for many entry-level musicians and limited access to services, the industry needs to innovate in order to thrive.
It is easier to create a pleasant sound using wood.
Acoustically, wood is still superior to resin. However, a resin bridge provides a repeatable result, at a significantly lower cost, and is more tolerant to temperature and moisture changes. So...
If you are into acoustic experimentation, on a budget, a teacher providing practice instruments, or a rental fleet owner, resin bridges may be an attractive alternative to conventional wood bridges.
If you are a career musician, a resin bridge may interest you, but more than likely, playing a professionally fitted wood bridge on your primary instrument is a better choice.
I'd like to point out that our resin bridges are brand spanking new and still evolving. As our bridges are played on a larger variety of setups we learn more and update our designs accordingly. To the skeptics and conservatives, don't knock it until you try...and then tell us how to make it better. At the end of the day it benefits traditional makers too to have more people picking up an instrument.
Thanks for reading.
Cofounder, Viowiess Co.