Minnesota HS Student 3D Prints Violin

LAKE ELMO, Minn. (WCCO) — Science classes have come a long way in the last decade.

Technology has made it possible for students to do some very creative things.

For instance, students in the Stillwater School District are using 3D printers to make all kinds of things designed on a computer. They’re even making musical instruments, including a violin.

Jennah Slayton, a junior at Stillwater High School, created a plastic violin to conduct an experiment on sound waves in her physics class.

“It has a potential to be a way for more students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a violin to get a student starter violin,” she said.

The violin parts were made one at a time inside a lab at nearby Oak-Land Junior High School in Lake Elmo.

Slayton chose the design online, monitored the printing, and then assembled it.

Instructor Matt Howe explained how the process works.

“The filament goes through a head as it is heated,” he said. “It comes out of a very fine point and is laid out in layers.”

The students say it cost about $40 to buy the materials to make the plastic violin using the 3D printer.

By comparison, a wooden violin would cost about $3,500.