3D printed guitar again...

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by foreright, Dec 7, 2020.

  1. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    I'm sure I posted about possibly creating a 3d printed guitar at some point in the past but anyway I'm now quite a way into the process and it's been an interesting journey so far :) I had an old Ibanez RG 22-fret neck lying around since the early 90's and have never really done anything with it so it's a good excuse to make a body to go along with it.

    Anyway, I knocked up something in Rhino CAD and have now had it all 3d printed. The body is two piece - a central core (which I'd originally intended to be "normal" wood but have since had printed at 100% infill for max stiffness) and the outer shape of the body which is printed at a much lower density, for time more than anything else (I believe the outer shell took 56 hours to print on its own).

    The bridge is an old licenced Floyd Rose that I've had knocking around forever. It's been in a couple of home built guitars over the years and has a brass block that came from some company in the US about 15 years ago (can't remember who!). I still need to buy pickups but I might get it all together first and check that it's not going to fold like a cheap suit first.

    I received the laser cut pickguard and covers this morning. They still have the protective plastic covering on hence the slightly wrinkly look.

    Everything is assembled with threaded inserts, which are incredibly easy to install in PLA (which the outer shell is) with a soldering iron.

    Hopefully I will get this together fully over Christmas - I'm liking the look so far anyway even though I can appreciate it's a bit "marmite" ;)

    CAD1.png CAD2.png IMG_5790_2.JPEG IMG_5791_2.jpeg IMG_5792_2.jpg IMG_5794_2.jpg
     
  2. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Lovely project, congrats!...
     
  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    That's cool as hell.

    Now fill the hexagons with colored epoxy... :)
     
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  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... 1 color per hexagon...
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Awesome! I made a 3d printed ukulele once- tried to make everything printed except the strings. Tuners made of ABS were a nightmare, and I replaced them with metal ones.

    I'm a little worried about PLA degrading over time and use. Ther's probably a way to coat it or paint it to protect it, though.
     
  6. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    I think it should probably last 10-15 years from what I’ve read before it starts to crack / degrade. Hopefully 3D printing will be much cheaper then and I’d just print another one :p
     
  7. Exit Existence

    Exit Existence SS.org Regular

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    That's amazing! I've only done a little bit of 3d printing when I was in college (they had a couple free to use printers, which was great!) I've always been curious about a printed body. One of the things I've always wondered about was the stability under string tension without using a wooden core to mount the bridge and neck to. How does the neck joint and overall stability seem of the 100% infill core?
     
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  8. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    The core feels pretty stiff to me. It needs to be epoxied in before I can really tell the structural integrity. I’m waiting on some CF rods before I do that though. I think between two carbon rods and the core it should be stiff enough. The outer body is one piece and is printed at 20% infill with additional shells around the screw holes and actually feels much more rigid than I was expecting.
     
  9. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    This is cool as shit! Looks like one of those insane one-off custom Jem's that Vai has in his collection, except he doesn't have this one in his collection haha

    This is a high idea, but my local library has some 3D printers(Lulzbot Mini and Lulzbot TAZ 6??) for use and the thought of someone printing a guitar there is just hilarious and awesome. :hbang:

    Is it possible to 3D print a neck?
     
  10. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    My local library limits you to 1hr print windows so it's like...what's the point? Ha![/QUOTE]
     
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  11. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    It is *possible* to 3d print anything - whether or not it's a good idea, that's another matter!
     
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  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    To 3D print a neck, you'd want a pretty big printer. Metal strings would probably rip up the frets to the point where it'd be unplayable in a matter of a few hours. I do believe it's entirely possible with nylon strings, though. I printed a little travel ukulele to take with me on business trips - only nylon strings, but everything other than the strings was 100% printed. Tuning stability was non-existent, as in, you'd tune a string, and, by the time you tuned the next string, the first string was totally loose. I replaced the printed tuning machines with cheap metal ones off of eBay, and you could get the thing to stay in tune for maybe 5 minutes. The truss rod was printed, too, and needed to be adjusted a lot. I eventually gave up and bought a travel guitar.

    So a 3D printed neck is probably possible to make, but making one that is worth actually having - probably not.

    @foreright - any consideration to 3D printing pickup bobbins or any other parts for a little more DIY-ness?
     
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  13. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    There's been a couple of people that have attempted the 3d printed neck thing and the couple I saw both concluded that it wasn't worth the effort other than a purely academic (ie. "because I can...") one.

    Yes I have 3d printed pickup surrounds for humbuckers on a previous build and they came out really nice. I have 3d printed strat style knobs too. I think I'll be using off the shelf hardware for this one though more for ease of getting it all together quickly than anything else! Pickup bobbins is a nice idea though... hmm.
     
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  14. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    Wow that's fantastic, 56 hours FM! that's insane, do you have any plans to reprint with different types of plastic so we can have a "Tone Plastic" face off ;) (yes i did just kick that bear) Gratz can't wait to hear what it sounds like (an electric guitar im guessing lol)
     
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  15. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Ironically, this actually might be more consistent/repeatable than the tone wood experiments. But then, we may need to control for manufacturer, relative humidity of the filament, etc. :rofl:
     
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  16. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    I made a telecaster (body) from a solid sheet of 40mm thick acrylic when I was at uni in the 90s. It sounds like... a telecaster surprisingly enough. Weighs half a ton though haha. I would be surprised if this one sounds markedly different to any other guitar with similar hardware.
     
  17. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Yes, but was your acrylic formed during a full moon? Did you use a CNC or the butter knife from your maternal-paternal-maternal Great-Great-Grandmother's silverware? Did it have "Left-side Toan"?
     
  18. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I am curious how the metal-filled filaments would hold-up to fret-wear. Either print the whole fretboard (expensive), or use one of the multi-material systems to just print the frets in the metal dust filaments.
    That said, I still hear a gyroid-infill, epoxy-filled neck calling me.
     
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  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I've never played with the metal powder impregnated filaments. The data sheets I've seen warn that the material is extremely brittle, though, and although it's very stiff, I have no idea about hardness. If the metallic particles bind to each other, it should be good, but I don't believe that's the idea, unless you are talking about the prints where you print the part and then sinter it in a special oven.

    Either way, I love the idea of playing around with it, but at $300+ per spool, I think I'll pass, myself.
     
  20. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Nah, pure FDM, no sintering. Also, I'm looking at the metal "dust" + thermo-plastic filaments. They're ~$25-$60/1 kg spool.
     
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