Piano Street Magazine

How About Building a Grand Piano?

May 18th, 2015 in Piano News by | 2 comments

Engineering and drafting students at a Virginia private school are pushing the envelope by attempting a project that no one else is currently doing in a school setting: building a piano from scratch. The two teachers in charge of the project have both said that not even colleges are taking on such an ambitious task. With the help of a 3-D printer, students are designing and creating all the parts themselves.

See the students in action:

WSET.com – ABC13

The project is called STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The point is to teach the students to combine all the necessary skills and collaborate on the project with each other. They’re required to read blueprints and piano designs from other sources, use the printer to create scaled pieces of the piano and craft the pieces in their regular size by hand.

The teachers have stated that they want the instrument to be of exceptional quality instead of “just a piano.” To that end, they’re expecting exacting tolerances and precise measurements from the students. One of the teachers remarked that the pieces, as designed, would only fit together in one way and in a certain order. Both teachers consider the project to be an excellent starting point on the students’ journey toward different levels of education and later employment. The students keep track of their progress on an engineering blog and are also fundraising to support the project.
Read the project blog at draftengine.blogspot.com

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  • carlo says:

    Very interesting!!

  • margaret guthrie says:

    I have a 1875 +or- Chickering Parlor Grand Piano that has been in my family since the late 1940’s.My mother got it from a family in Mass. who had had as a wedding present in 1880’s. Rosewood outside. Has been worked on in 1974 with restorer from Smithsonian. Since then has lived in Canada and now new Mexico for 30 years. I have had it looked at by a professional piano examiner from Santa Fe who basically said that the sound board is for the wood pile as are the keys (not ivory) strings, dampers etc etc. Will take $20,000 to restore. I have since had a serious hearing loss which has made it almost impossible to play anymore. I cannot just toss this piano out, it has sentimental value to me if nothing else. I am looking for someone who would like to learn how to restore an old piano.

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