Olaf Diegel, a professor of Mechtronics at Massey University's School of Engineering and advanced technology in Auckland is passionate for 3D printer. His designs of Scrab and Spider electric guitars attracted interests from all over the world.
The guitar bodies of earlier prototype(Scarab 3D printed Guitar) are made of Alumide or Polyamide 2200(Nylon 12) using an EOS Formiga P100 laser sintering system. With 3D printing technology prototypes can be printed in one piece with intricate details. The entire body of the guitar features spiders and insects, numerous fearsome-looking ODD arachnids positioned throughout its web-like lattice along with various flowers and insects hanging from the Scrab vines.
Each 3D printed model can be fitted with non-3D-printed hardware - customers could choose their favorite neck, pickups, and bridge. This is one of the beauties of 3D printing that everyone could customise his own guitar by adding a name or logo onto the space on the back of the guitar, or modify almost any part of it.
However 3D printer has also its limitation. One limitation is that the size of guitar body shape is determined by the build volume of 3D printer. For making bigger sizes of guitar such as Les Paul-shaped Atom guitar with electrons Diegel you need to use a bigger 3D printer.
Another limitation is its sound. A few guitarists have already questioned about the sound of Scarab 3D printed Guitar.
"The tone sounded so generic that it lost all colour to its sound in my opinion.. as a guitarist.. the body material is KEY (pardon the pun) to having a good tone… a plastic almost non exist body is really going to ruin and waste a lot of its sound." - sirchick
"I play a ten-string, hand-built Ramirez classical guitar professionally – when examining its complex inner structure with asymmetrical, internal radial battens to optimize linear tone and timbre response in the body of the instrument, the quality of the woods used, the quality of tonal response, then the idea of 3-D printing an effort to equate that appears completely nonsensical." - Tachyon8491
Listen to its sound of Scarab 3D printed Guitar in this video, you would agree they do look so cool but sound could be improved.
The third limitation is the choices of materials. The plastic the 3D printer uses lacks the resonance of wood. Olaf Diegel hopes to come up with a guitar with a core made out of wood, allowing the better control of guitar's resonance and its tone.
Recently Olaf Diegel is working with 3D Systems to make Gibson Les Paul-style guitar with an internal atom with spinning electrons - named as atom 3D printed guitar.
It is made using an sPro 230 SLS system with Selective Laser Sintering technology. The material being used is Duraform PA which is a very strong form of Nylon. "The resolution for the prints was 0.1mm, and the guitars feature a wooden inner core (choices of Mahogany, Alder or Maple, etc.)"
- Neck: Warmoth Pro Angled maple neck with ebony fret board, 22 frets, 25 1/2" scale, 42.86mm (1 11/16") width Corian nut, 6150 sized jumbo frets, 10-16" compound radius fret board, mother of pearl inlay dots
- Body: 3D printed Duraform PA outer body, with mahogany inner core, Dyed black and sprayed with clear satin polyurethane
- Bridge: Schaller 475, 6 String Flat Mount Bridge, Chrome
- Pickups: Langcaster active low-impedance pickups with overdrive
- Tuning heads: Schaller Mini Locking Tuners, Chrome
- Controls: Pickup select switch, Volume knob, Tone knob, Overdrive on/off switch, Overdrive level knob
- Weight: 3.2Kg
Watch the video below to listen to its sound and compare it with Scarab 3D printed Guitars. You can hear the new atom 3D printed guitar has a more metallic sound.
Olaf Diegel will begin selling the guitars online this month. You may like to have one of his designs for yourself, but they won't come cheap. It starts at a price tag of £1000 for standard Scarab and Spider designs, and can up to £1500 depending on your choice of customization.
Nevertheless, this is an awesome use of 3d printing to manufacturing a musical instrument. Olaf Diegel expects to soon see the day when 3D printers are capable of outputting entire buildings. "I think in five to six years that will be possible." Can't wait to see more!
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Jaime Martin wrote at 7/31/2012 2:19:27 AM:
Hello, my name is Jaime and I wonder how much is the cost of a guitar made in 3d or at least the body because I play bass and I'd buy one of my only problem is that I am disabled but I would like at least know the prices for your attention so thank you very much my email is email@example.com