Olaf Diegel launched a brand new guitar on Cubify today – the patriotically-inspired Americana. The guitar features a sky scape of New York City inside the guitar, with some of its most famous landmarks including, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Freedom Tower, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, St Patricks Cathedral, and the Love sculpture by artist Robert Indiana. The beautiful paint job is by New Zealand air brush artist Ron Van Dam.
We had the pleasure of chatting with him about his design process, the story behind his newest masterpiece, and the limits he will continue to push with 3D printing. The full interview is right after the gorgeous pictures.
Q&A with Olaf
- What inspired you to create an American-themed guitar? What made you pick New York?
My wife spent 6 months in New York last year and I went to visit her there. I was blown away by the city’s vibrancy and was also fascinated by the innate feeling of ‘Americanism’ and patriotism that I sensed from the people there. While growing up I never lived in any country for very long, so I’m intrigued by people who have such a strong sense of “Home” since I never developed that feeling myself. That idea became my starting point for the Americana guitar.
- Who do you hope will use this guitar?
I could picture this guitar being used by artists like Bruce Springsteen or Garth Brooks, but that’s not to say I see it as something reserved for specific types. I see it more as an option for anyone who wants to play on an instrument that combines performance and art.
- You continue to use 3D printing as a production medium. What keeps you coming back to this technology?
3D printing is the only technology that allows me to create exactly what I envisioned. It used to be the case that I would imagine a fantastic product or design, and would then have to substantially compromise and adjust my idea until the design was manufacturable. With 3D printing I don’t have that restriction; if it’s in my imagination, I can put it in my hands. It also removes a lot of the risk associated with bringing a product to market. For example, if I wanted to bring my guitars to market using conventional technologies, I would be looking at several hundred thousand dollars in tooling for each guitar design. With that kind of an obstacle, they simply wouldn’t make it to market. 3D printing involves no tooling or setup costs, and allows me to get my products anywhere in the world.
- Are there any other cities and countries you’d like to make musical?
Having done the New York-themed guitar, I could imagine making a series of different world capitals: London, Paris, Moscow, etc. I could also maybe imagine another American-themed guitar that shares a cross-country tour/road trip concept, including different landmarks like the White House, Mount Rushmore, the Hollywood sign, etc.
Big thanks to Olaf for chatting with us today!
What songs would you play on this awesome guitar?