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3D Printed Guitar


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I recently started a new project: a 3D printed guitar body.

Only the body will be 3D printed: the neck will be build in a traditional way with a piece of flamed maple and a rosewood fretboard.

I completed the design phase and I just sent the body design to a 3D printing service. As soon as I receive the body I'll post some pictures of it.

Here are a couple of pictures of the CAD project just to give you an idea:

In the "f" holes there is a set of working gears that will be printed into the body without the need to manually assemble them:

The cover of the cavity is connected to the body with an hinge. The hinge will be printed and will not need to be manually assempled:

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Hello, I'm back again.

Here you can find the pictures of the neck I built.

Here you can see the grain of the neck blank:

Here is the fretboard gluing operation:

The tuners holes have been drilled:

Here you can see the profiling of the fretboard:

Now it's the turn of the inlays:

Now it's the turn of the headstock. First of all I routed it to the desired thickness than I used a cylindrical sander to smooth the connection to the fretboard:

Neck profiling. I routed (using a base) the neck to the thickness then I fixed it to the bench and profiled it with a rasp:
Frets installed:
Side dots:
Installation of the LSR nut:
Now I'm waiting for the body to arrive. As soon as I receive it I'll post some pictures ;-)

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I received the guitar body and it's simply amazing!!!

The print quality is fantastic!!!

Here are some pictures:

This is the body:

Here you can see a detail of the internal gears. They are printed already assembled and they can spin:

Here is a detail of the back cover hinge. As the internal gears it's printed already assembled and it is working perfectly (I had some doubts when I designed it ;-)):

Here is a picture of how it will look when finished:

I'll post more pictures as soon as my project is finished.

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The initial idea was to paint it in a dark color (gun metal) but I decided to simply apply a couple of layers of matt laquer because the natural color is very nice and unfortunately I was not able to capture it in the pictures. It is vivid and the fact that is matt makes it shine ;-)

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Looking around in my cellar I found 2 unfinished carbon fiber necks (remained from my carbon fiber guitar project I posted here a few years ago): I decided to give them a chanse, a carbon fiber neck would be the perfect neck for a guitar like this.

Here is my original post:

Here is a picture of the guitar I built at that time:

Here is the neck I'm building:

The brown material is made of phenolic micro-spheres mixed with resin: we will call it "filling material". The headstock has been reinforced where the tuners will be fixed with an high density version of this filling material. The rest of the filling of the headstock is made using balsa wood (very light) and low density filling material (lighter that the high density one). The section where there will be the nut and the neck heel will be routed to accomodate a truss rod. I'll post more pictures if someone is interested.

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I finally painted the guitar in metallic blue with a black base coat. I partially sanded it to create a worn effect. I applied a semigloss clear coat. It looks great but I'm not able to completely show it in the pictures:

I completed the filling of the carbon neck and I leveled it. Now I'm ready to install a double action truss rod: due to the rigidity of the carbon fiber, there is the risk that the neck relief will be insufficient so the truss rod will be used to enhance it. Once installed the truss rod I'll glue the fretboard and test the stiffness: if the relief is ok I'll install the frets, if not I'll probably go on with the installation of the traditional neck I built.

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I'm back with new pictures ;-)

I finished the guitar body. I still need to complete the neck in order to complete the project.

Anyway, I painted the body and I assembled all the parts except for the neck.

I also installed in it 2 blue LEDs, here you can see how the body looks like in the dark:

Here you can see the body completed:

This is a detail of the "f" hole illuminated by the LEDs:

This is the back of the guitar. The cavity covers are kept in place by magnets, you can see them in this picture (the 4 white dots on contouring the spring cavity are neodymium magnets):

As soon as I've completed the neck I'll post new pictures ;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I completed the carbon neck: it's perfect for this guitar :D
As you can see I was lucky: the guitar is stable (I tuned on Sun and tonight it's still in tune) and I like it's sound. I installed on it a set of PRS Dragon Pickups.
As soon as I'll be able to record some sound samples I'll share them with you because I'm interested in your opinion.
Here is the guitar nearly finished: I'm printing the spring cavity cover ;)

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