Have you ever wondered if a working guitar could be 3D printed? That question has now been answered by Jeff Kerr’s beautifuly printed model. Not only does it look great, it sounds very good too, as seen in the video below.
The design may seem a little strange if you’re expecting a wooden body, but once the initial shock is overcome, the translucent body of the guitar is quite beautiful. To support the thin shell, there are a number of fractal-inspired supports that don’t conduct light as readily, providing an interesting effect.
Everything on the guitar is 3D printed, with the exception of the metal parts like strings and tuning keys. In addition to making this guitar, Jeff actually designed the printer that made it. The printing area is reportedly quite large, which, given the size of the guitar, would be quite helpful!
The original Foundry Makerspace source states that this guitar is not for sale, but if you’ve got a big enough printer, the models are available here. Happy printing!
[vimeo 110843771 w=500 h=282]
Somehow I have this image of an early 90’s hair metal band smashing their guitars onstage, only to melt them down and have them printed into axes for the next show. Maybe I’ll propose this if I ever become a roadie.
2 thoughts on “A Working 3D Printed Guitar”
Awesome build. Jeff makes a really nice CNC mill kit, the Lobo CNC
Reblogged this on Denver Mini Maker Faire.
That is fantastic! Sounds great. And with the printer, you can really control the thickness/thinness of the top and back to test out resonating properties of the top and back. Is it the neck also?
Yes. The neck is also 3D printed. He printed it in 3 pieces (head, fret board, neck). The neck has a channel down the center that holds a steel rod. Without the steel rod, the tension of the strings would cause the plastic to creep pulling it out of tune. Jeff’s guitar is tuned 1/2 step down but stays in tune and sounds wonderful.
Definitely looks like a rosewood fingerboard.
The finger board is also 3D printed but it was then sanded down in order to be smooth enough to play nicely. You can see the printed layers in the third photo looking down the strings.
Thank-you for featuring Jeff’s amazing creation. He is incredibly talented and knowledgable. He mentors the local high school robotics team and shares his skills as an instructor at The Foundry. He is currently designing a new 3D printer!
Here’s an audio clip where I actually play the right notes: http://lobocnc.com/photos/tim3d.mp3 (lobocnc.com)
I have designed a archtop jazz guitar. The Top and back are arched which provides more bass than a flat-top acoustic. Do you offer 3D printing service. I did the CAD work in Solid Edge ST7.
There’s a cool open source guitar project called Zoybar that shares its cad files for 3d printing
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