Sep 26, 2016 | By Alec

Remember the Heavy Metal guitar by Olaf Diegel? A few months ago, this Swedish professor from the University of Lund revealed this remarkable 3D printed aluminum guitar to the world: a gorgeous instrument that would not look out of place at a Guns N’ Roses concert, packed with barbed wire and decorative roses. But it was also the world’s first 3D printed aluminum guitar ever made, realized by Dutch medical 3D printing specialists Xilloc. That company has just released a clip that answers the one question that haunted us: what does the Heavy Metal sound like? Check it out for yourself below.

This remarkable guitar builds on the extensive experience of Diegel, who has become famous throughout the 3D printing world for designing a number of truly remarkable 3D printed instruments, including this spectacular 3D printed steampunk guitar. He even set up a band relying almost solely on 3D printed instruments. Though familiar with numerous 3D printing techniques by now, the Heavy Metal grew out of his desire to test metal 3D printing. “[I also wanted] to better understand the intricacies of the whole process, from ‘design for additive manufacturing’, to the actual 3D printing of the guitar, to the post-processing that is required to go from a 3D printed metal part straight of the machine to a usable masterpiece,” he said at the time.

This challenge is also visible in the decorative design, which was realized in SolidWorks. The body shape itself is a Telecaster at its core, but with an open case packed with a gorgeous barbed wire motif (pointy ends aimed away from the musician). “The guitar was originally nick-named War and Peace, but Heavy Metal seemed a more appropriately literal name,” Diegel revealed.

To 3D print the guitar, Diegel turned to Xilloc – known for their medical 3D printing breakthroughs with metal, ceramics and carbon fiber. Back in 2015, Xilloc began commercializing artificial 3D printed CT bones and even adopted 4 EOS M400 3D printers to cope with production demands. One of those systems was also used for the Heavy Metal, 3D printed in a single piece using aluminum power at 0.1 mm thick layers. This was followed by a four-day post-processing phase that involved plenty of filing, sanding and polishing.

The result is truly spectacular, and is still one of the most beautiful 3D printed instruments we’ve ever seen. Most importantly, we now finally know what it sounds like. If you’re interested in exactly what neck, bridge, pickups, tuning heads and other equipment were used to complete the guitar, check out Diegel’s OddGuitars blog here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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