Diegel Guitar Sideways
Olaf Diegel, a professor of Mechtronics at Massey University's School of Engineering and advanced technology in Auckland is passionate for 3D printing. His designs of Scrab and Spider electric guitars have attracted interest from all over the world.
The guitar bodies of earlier prototype (Scarab 3D printed Guitar) are made of Nylon 12 using a laser sintering system. With 3D printing technology prototypes can be printed in one piece with intricate details. The entire body of the guitar features spiders and insects, numerous fearsome-looking ODD arachnids positioned throughout its web-like lattice along with various flowers and insects hanging from the Scrab vines.
Each 3D printed model can be fitted with non-3D-printed hardware. One of the beauties of 3D printing is that you can customise your own guitar by adding a name or logo onto the space on the back of the guitar.
However 3D printing also has its limitations. One limitation is that the size of guitar body shape is determined by the build volume of 3D printer. For making bigger sizes of guitar such as Les Paul-shaped Atom guitar with electrons Diegel you need to use a bigger 3D printer. Another limitation is the choices of materials. The plastic the 3D printer uses lacks the resonance of wood. Olaf Diegel hopes to come up with a guitar with a core made out of wood, allowing the better control of guitar's resonance and its tone.
Recently Olaf Diegel is working with 3D Systems to make Gibson Les Paul-style guitar with an internal atom with spinning electrons - named as atom 3D printed guitar. It is made using an sPro 230 SLS system with Selective Laser Sintering technology. The material being used is Duraform PA which is a very strong form of Nylon.
- Neck: Warmoth Pro Angled maple neck with ebony fret board, 22 frets, 25 1/2" scale, 42.86mm (1 11/16") width Corian nut, 6150 sized jumbo frets, 10-16" compound radius fret board, mother of pearl inlay dots
- Body: 3D printed Duraform PA outer body, with mahogany inner core, Dyed black and sprayed with clear satin polyurethane
- Bridge: Schaller 475, 6 String Flat Mount Bridge, Chrome
- Pickups: Langcaster active low-impedance pickups with overdrive
- Tuning heads: Schaller Mini Locking Tuners, Chrome
- Controls: Pickup select switch, Volume knob, Tone knob, Overdrive on/off switch, Overdrive level knob
- Weight: 3.2Kg
Olaf Diegel will begin selling the guitars online this month. It starts at a price of £1000 for standard Scarab and Spider designs, and can reach up to £1500 depending on your choice of customisation.
Nevertheless, this is an exciting use of 3D printing to manufacturing a guitar. Olaf Diegel expects to soon see the day when 3D printers are capable of outputting entire buildings: "I think in five to six years that will be possible." We can't wait to see more!