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2013

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3D printed guitar body (via ODD)

 

3D printing has been used to prototype everything from robotic gears, synthetic human tissue (University of Oxford) and gun parts but now it’s being used to fabricate unique instruments such as intricately designed custom guitars. The 6-stringed instruments are designed by Olaf Diegel of ODD Guitars (Auckland, New Zealand) and feature a 3D printed body using the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) method from 3D Systems.

 

The SLS method builds the desired design by spreading an ultra-thin layer (0.1mm) of nylon powder, which is then fused in specific locations for that particular design. The layer is then dropped a fraction of a millimeter after which another layer is deposited until the component is complete. One of the more notable designs Olaf created is known as the Americana (pictured) which was inspired by a trip to New York City and features the Stars and Stripes along with the Big Apples more iconic landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the Freedom Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge among others. The body was crafted using Duraform PA (nylon) as its outer shell with a mahogany inner-core that connects the guitars neck to the bridge making the instrument stable. The custom paint job and airbrushed eagle was done by NZ artist Ron van Dam giving the guitar an overall feeling of increased patriotism. Of course the rest of the instrument is made from traditional top of the line hardware including pickups, tuning heads toggle switches/knobs and neck, which can also be customized to suit, the musicians needs. ODD Guitars offers a varied selection of customizable 3D printed instruments so prices vary upon each design (in other words is guaranteed to be expensive); however you can be certain that there won’t be any other guitar on the market that looks quite like yours. With the continued expansion and adoption of 3D technology, it’s safe to say that guitars won’t be the only instrument fabricated-to-order. Does this mean disposable instruments are on the horizon?

 

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