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25 Jun 3D Printed Electric Guitar by 3D Printing Solutions Australia.
3D Printing Solutions Australia print a metallic blue electric guitar themed with the French suits.
We’ve seen some beautifully ornate and organically shaped electric guitars come out of SLA/SLS printers, however no one to date has tested the capabilities of FDM/FFF desktop printers, when making something more than just a trinket, keyring or figurine. 3D Printing Solutions Australia undertook this challenge with their fantastic, fully functioning finished guitar, all printed with Polymaker’s PolyMax™ PLA on the UP Box, a desktop FDM 3D Printer. Aesthetically themed around the French suits found on the standard deck of playing cards, the design incorporates the four suits embossed into the body of the guitar with a split depth shadow gap. Thanks to 3D Printing, the designer, Michael Tyson could really let his creative juices flow when drafting his guitar. By 3D printing the body, Michael was able to create multiple layers to the guitar, which would have been extremely tricky using non additive manufacturing processes. This also makes the guitar very light, making it easy to play and ergonomically practical for gigs and tours.
“The end goal was to demonstrate what can be achieved with current Desktop 3D Printers. Consumers are tired of seeing vases and figurine models; they need a lot more to be inspired. This project has achieved the wow factor that we set out for.” – Michael Tyson, Designer
All the printed parts are made using Polymaker’s PolyMax™ PLA. As the guitar could not be printed in one piece on a desktop sized printer, the body was split into four sections to accommodate the 205x205mm bed size found on the UP box. As these sections are still push the limits of any print bed’s dimensions, printing at this scale in ABS is destined for warp related issues. The four sections were glued using a two part epoxy resin, and using a Dremel hand tool and short strands of PolyMax™ PLA Filament, a technique called plastic fusion welding was used to bond and clean up the seam lines. By using PolyMax™ PLA, the printed parts were not only beautifully clean and free from warping but the assembled guitar had the strength needed to produce a fully working instrument. Having an impact resistance to match ABS and being nine times stronger than regular PLA. PolyMax’s improved properties make it perfect for large prints that can take a knock.
“We decided to use PolyMaker’s PolyMax filament as it was important to use a material that would not warp during the print. In addition it needed to be strong but not too brittle. The PolyMax was defiantly the right decision.” – Michael Tyson, Designer
The guitar was then post processed with a plastic primer, followed by a high build primer. This was then lightly sanded back before the deep blue metallic basecoat was sprayed on. A final layer of protection was added with a two pack clear coat lacquer. Besides being very eye catching, the guitar sounds as good as it looks. This is due to the combination of traditional luthier woodworking techniques incorporated, paralleled with Polymax’s structural and dimensional stability. At the core of the guitar is a plank of Queensland Mahogany, It’s here where the pickups and bridge are located. This tightly knitted hardwood gives the guitar a deep tone and consistent sustain, serving the musician to a large repertoire of sounds.
For the none 3D printed parts of the guitar, such as the neck and electronics, Michael used an online supplier to purchase all the necessary equipment spending around $500. If you are interested in seeing this guitar in action CLICK HERE for a video of the guitar played by Matt from 3D Printing Solutions Australia. A big thanks to the photographer Vueey Le for the wonderful pics.
If you’d like to print your own guitar keep an eye out for the link below to download the STL files.
STL Files (Will be releasing them soon)