Featured image of Student 3D Prints Prosthetic to Help Girl Learn to Play the Violin
Pulling the Strings

Student 3D Prints Prosthetic to Help Girl Learn to Play the Violin

Picture of Anne Freier
by Anne Freier
May 10, 2018

The biomedical engineering student has developed a prosthetic device that changed a girl’s life.

3D printing is already having a positive effect on a wide variety of industries from manufacturing goods to medical appliances. The technology is also being used by individuals to make a lasting impact on others. Prosthetics are just one example where 3D printing has tremendously enriched peoples’ lives.

Now, a student at LeTourneau University, Texas, US, is helping a five-year-old girl make her dreams come true. Neriah Rhodes is missing her left hand. However, the girl has been hoping to learn to play the violin.

Drew Miles, the biomedical engineering student at LeTourneau, has been busy crafting a 3D printed prosthetic that would allow Rhodes to do just that – learn to play the violin.

He originally received an email from a Florida-based violin teacher who enquired if students could submit their own designs that would let them learn to play the string instrument.

Initially, he thought he was one of many students submitting a design.

“I then found out I was the only person doing the project,” he said.

From Prototype to Prototype

Rhodes with her mother. (Image: kltv.com)

Although it seemed like a challenging task to create a functional 3D printed prosthetic that would be flexible enough to learn an instrument as difficult as the violin, Miles did not shy away from the project.

With the help of Professor Ko Sasaki, it took around seven months to finish off the design for Rhodes. They printed a total of 15 prototypes before the final version was ready.

Rhodes has been using the finished part to learn her favorite instrument. As a backup, the girl also received a stiffer version of the device.

Elizabeth Rhodes, the mother of Neriah told Miles: “We could not thank you enough in words for what you’ve done for Neriah, who you’ve never met, and you probably will never meet her. And we get to benefit from your hard work and we are incredibly grateful for you.”

The device was 3D printed and designed free of charge.

Watch a video of Rhodes playing the violin here.

Source: kltv.com & 3dprint.com

License: The text of "Student 3D Prints Prosthetic to Help Girl Learn to Play the Violin" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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