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"How I saved a piano using Blender and 3D printing"


Did read yesterday's story on how a 3D printed model of a splenic artery helped doctors save a patient? Well, it turns out Blender can save old pianos as well :)

Dani Epstein writes:

This might surprise you: not every Bentley is made out of steel. Or has rubber tyres. Not, that is, when they are pianos. Be comforted by the thought that I, too, had no idea that there was a brand of wooden instrument which rolls on brass instead of rubber that basks in the shadow of that famous marque.

My ignorance was dispelled by a good friend of mine, Eric Sievers of EMS Piano fame, who had run up against a sticky problem. He was in the process of repairing a piano of the aforementioned brand when the standards – the bits that hold the action in place – simultaneously split in two. Within the piano tuning and restoration trade, this sort of thing is not regarded as a good omen.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. My mother has a Bentley in her living room ;-) I always assumed that all the 'gold' bits inside were brass, judging by the savage weight of the instrument. It would be good to see a picture of where this part actually goes, as I didn't know that 3D prints were strong enough for mechanical use like this.

    • Yeah, I asked Eric (the piano guy) for some action shots so I'm waiting for those to come through. I have printed quite a lot of mechanical bits and bobs, some of them quite large and consisting of several prints glued together. Works a charm.

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