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A 3D Printed Acoustic Guitar

Scott Summit, is the co-founder of Bespoke Innovations and winner of design awards ranging from ISDA, IDEA, Good Design, and Core77. He’s held faculty positions at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, and Singularity University. And since he sits right next to us, he’ll be guest blogging from time to time. 

Recently, we made the first-ever 3D Printed Acoustic Guitar.  Ok, so why 3D print a guitar from polyamide when wood has done so well over the years?  Well, exotic woods are growing scarce, and there’s good reason to look to alternatives in all categories, guitars included.  And the variety of shapes offered by 3D printing stands to create guitars that are as sculptural as their ancestors, yet with far less carbon footprint, less resource dependent, and, yes, even recyclable.

 

Another consideration is that there is no ‘Gold Standard’ for guitars, as there is with violins.  Each great guitar player wants their own sound, and, in that effort, seeks out a luthier (guitar builder) to create a sound that is unique to them.  But with the dawn of mass-customization and 3D printed consumer products, there is every reason to think that every aspiring musician can, one day soon, design their guitar to meet their desired sound, no luthier required.

Due to the size of the guitar and the need for both strength and resilience, the body was printed on a 3D Systems SinsterStation Pro, using Duraform PA.  The metal soundhole cover and the metal at the heel joint were 3D printed as well.

 
  • Sebastian Cosma

    Dude, this is sweet! Why don’t we all get 3d printers and print ourselves some goddamn guitars?!

    • Sebastian Cosma

      And why am I the first to comment on such an amazing thing?!

  • jericho

    Maybe when they can figure out how to do 3D printing with spruce, mahogany and maple…

  • Devin Mooers

    Any recordings of this guitar available?

  • kam hagh

    how can a 3Dprinter pritn something so huge !?

  • marcusvanengelen

    The amount of wood used to make guitars is minimal in comparison to furniture, window making and other major wood consumers, and have no measurable effect on the availability of exotic wood. The top is made from wood that is available in abundance. Backs and sides can be made from non-exotic woods and still have a decent sound. One essential quality of tonewood is not possibel to copy: the grain. Types of wood used for guitars slow down the transport of sound against the grain in relation to sound conductance with the grain; wood that lacks this quality is unfit for guitars. There’s no way to copy this particular quality in a material that has equal density throughout. Polyamide guitars have, by definition, an incapacity to create a natural spread of overtones and will. at best, sound like a very cheap wooden guitar. There are methods to produce decent guitars from non-natural materials, but 3D printing isn’t one of them. This guitar is only made because it’s possible, and afterwards reasons for it’s existence are conjured up. Dead end street.

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