There is a guy out there who turned 3D printing of guitars into an art. His name is Olaf Diegel and his new piece is a painted electric bass called Beatlemania, inspired by the legendary Höfner 500/1 bass violin of no less legendary Paul McCartney.
Olaf Diegel is a true veteran in the field of additive technologies: engineer, designer, professor of additive manufacturing of the engineering faculty at the University of Auckland and consultant at Wohlers Associates, one of the leading research, analytical and consulting firms in the market of additive technologies. Apart from all that, he has an old hobby: he loves making musical instruments and not just regular instruments but 3D-printed ones.
Olaf had tried making percussion instruments and even a saxophone but his real love his guitars. In 2011, Diegel launched his own business, Odd Guitars, offering exclusively instruments made with the help of 3D printing technology using selective laser sintering of both polymer and metal powders. Of course, not everything is printed: there are ordinary pickups, fretboards, pins, etc, but cases and decorative elements are built on 3D printers.
The first guitar with a Fullmetal 3D-printed body was Heavy Metal, demonstrated in 2016, and this time Olaf decided to make a guitar in honoring the Beatles, based on the design of an unusual four-string electroacoustic bass in the form of a violin, loved by Paul McCartney. The bass body is made of polyamide PA 2200 and is lavishly decorated with the band symbols: there you can see the band semaphoring from the cover of the “Help!” single and musicians walking on a zebra crossing from the “Abbey Road” album, and John Lennon’s glasses, and everyone’s favorite yellow submarine. The decorative elements were hand-painted by Akiko, Olaf’s wife.
The rest of the parts can be found on conventional electric guitars: a maple (or mahogany) fretboard with 22 frets and a 34-inch mensuration, a pair of EMG pickups, gold-plated Gotoh GB7 pins, a Corian top nut and a gold-plated Schaller bridge with roller saddles.
The instruments weigh four and a half kilos, but the cost is not specified. Yes, a similar instrument can be purchased but all orders are carried out individually and with the ability to customize at the request of the customer, which is very convenient. What if sir Paul ordered it himself? He’s left-handed, by the way.
Olaf Digel explains and shows how 3D-printed guitars are created:
Want to try and 3D print a music instrument? For that, you’ll probably need a 3D printer with a large build volume. Check out large-format 3D printers produced by Modix, these machines will help bring your most ambitious projects to life. Or maybe you’re captivated by 3D technologies and want to integrate 3D printing into your business. In this case, check out Modix Big 60 V2. This large-format 3D printer will definitely bring profit to your business by helping you cut production costs.