3D Printing the Guitar of Your Dreams

Guitar printed by 3D Printing Service
Picture credit: guardian.co.uk

Many young guitarists have scribbled designs for fantastic bespoke guitars on the backs of exercise books which they will have made once rich and famous enough; some of these designs though are next to impossible to have made no matter how much money you have and most guitarists of course never make it to the stage in their performing career where they can afford to get a guitar custom made by skilled craftsmen.

3D printing service may solve these problems soon however and a few others besides: the principle one being the fragility of guitars, at least in certain guitarists hands such as Pete Townsend , Jimi Hendrix , Kurt Cobain and even Jerry Lee Lewis who were famous for destroying their instruments.

3D printing service creates guitars, using additive manufacturing, which are incredibly strong, made of Nylon, and would take some serious effort to destroy. Olaf Diegel is the New Zealander making these bespoke guitars and he says “You could throw one against the wall without worrying about it breaking”.

Most guitarists though will go to Diegel, who has just started selling his guitars online, for the bespoke guitar of their dreams: if it can be designed in 3D CAD software it can probably be printed: this means any shape with any pattern and even hollow wrought iron style designs are possible. Using a 3D printing service to make a guitar hollow of course means it can be much lighter, which some guitarists will prefer

Most entry level enterprise 3D printers print in monotone or perhaps in a small number of colors meaning that guitars will be printed in one color too normally, though it is possible to print inlays and other parts in different colors separately by switching the nylon material that the printer uses: these parts can then be fitted together.

There are also 3D printers though, costing a little more, that print in full color which could be used for a 3D printing service for guitars and so could not only print any shape but also any pattern or mixture of colors too; unlike a painted or transferred on design the color would be integral to the guitar itself so there would be no danger of it wearing away.

The process Diegel uses to make his guitars doesn’t actually print a fully finished guitar of course: though it would be possible to print everything but the strings, pickups and other electrics, including tuning pegs printed as part of the guitar but still movable, Diegel actually adds a wooden neck and a block of wood into the rear to improve the sound of the guitar. Different guitarists liking a different sound can have a different type of wood added with a maple replicating a Telecaster and Mahogany a Gibson.

Diegel guitars though could perhaps eventually become as iconic as Gibson and Telecaster and he already gets around 12 enquiries a day, that’s for guitars costing around $1600 each, using this 3D printing service though is still cheaper than having the same guitars hand made however.

Leave a Comment