So I was planning to add an acoustic bass guitar and a Neve 88R recording console to my newly furnished small studio. But the funny thing is, music gears come with some of the most expensive price tags attached to them. So much so that they cost you more than purchasing a car or a house or any rare items that you will make in your life.
Ofcourse, money matters not for those who share a passion for music. However, getting down into the music business is another flip of the coin – it involves a heavy investment on building a fully equipped studio and then, the musical equipments are so breathtakingly expensive. That is why, I heaved a sign of relief when I first heard of 3D printed musical instruments too are possible.
What is 3D printing?
It is the process of additive manufacturing of 3 dimensional objects from a digital file. Here, objects are built by the successive layering of powdered materials. The end prototypes look just as good as any actual objects. Take a look at some of this amazing collection of 3D printed musical instruments I just found out. Price of purchase – Cost Free!
#1 – Full-Size Electric Version
The F-F-Fiddle by OpenFabPDX
A full-sized electric violin and that too 3D printed. Sounds great! This model was 3D printed by the creator using Type A Machine Series 1. However, you can use MakerBot Replicator 2 to build it. The body of the violin could be split into two depending on the size of the printing bed that you would be using. Assembling the parts is simple and there is a list of shopping components that you can use for putting the final parts together. It is simple and you can work it out faster provided you know the step-by-step processes.
You can also watch this video below to learn more about the violin and the F-F-Fiddle in action –
#2 – Electric Guitar Inspired by Lovecraft
A Concept of the Lovecraft Guitar
The model is based on Necronomicon – a classic horror novel by the legendary and iconic HP Lovecraft. The built-up process is highly detailed since the musical instrument is made of eight parts. The entire project would require approximately eight – ten hours to 3D print and would require a bit of post processing. The white material left unpainted adds to the creepiness.
3D printing an electric guitar was a complicated process. However with the arrival of higher quality and better printers, and repeated trials and measures are changing that. Though the unpainted white color seems pretty creepy, an ultra shiny blood red finish or a black color would look great too.
You can watch this video below to take a look at the shredding done on the guitar –
#3 – Banjo Uke
A 3D Printed Banjo Ukelele
The Banjo Uke is a complete prototype instrument which comes fully 3D printed – the body, the four strings, the fretted ukunele neck, the tuning pegs and even the strings. However, the infill percentages could turn out to be different that could change the acoustics of the instrument. That would require some time and experiment to get a sound you like.
#4 – Electric Violin
A 3D Printed Rockstar Electric Violin
This is a cool and artistic electric violin that anyone have ever come across. Though from the picture it might seem as if the chin rest is the only 3D printed body, the truth is that the entire body built has also been prototyped. The end parts had been sanded, polished and painted as an additional touch. The result – a rock-star violin.
We do not know anything about the build-up process in detail. So, it is not a recommended project for beginners. But then, since the model is available on MyMiniFactory, then there could be no uncertainty about it being a fully certified 3D-printed product.
#5 – Guitar Inspired by H.R. Giger
The H.R. Giger Inspired Guitar
The original model was designed by legendary artist H.R. Giger, after being inspired by Alien – a classic science fiction movie series. His design sensibilities reflect a disturbing mix of horror and sex that is visually unsettling.
However, the guitar flaunts an incredibly cool design and is the perfect example what high quality 3D printing technology is capable of producing. You might have already come across this Giger inspired guitar a while back, because it went viral for all the good reason. The model comes with a complex built structure and might turn out to be difficult. You can give a try if you want for Francesco, the creator who had built the Lovecraft guitar, had already posted a complete instruction list online.
#6 – Electric Guitar Voronoi
The Black Widow 3D Printed Guitar
The guitar has a tricky design and even the designer admits it. However, thanks to the voronoi pattern, the model could be split up into different parts that are printable. The process may take repeated trial and error and therefore, can require more than 100 hours before the final result is satisfactory. It might be the best project for beginners. However, Thingiverse users could find a couple of other builds to start their Voronoi electric guitar project.
#7 – Blue 3D Printed Electric Guitar
A 3D Printed Blue Electric Guitar
The model comes with a fully 3D printed neck and body. The neck is built of two epoxied carbon fiber tubes that help to add more stability to the structure. In addition, the designer had filled the infill area with more epoxy to add strength to the neck.
#8 – The Soprano Ukulele
A 3D Printed Soprano Ukulele
The model comes with two 3D printed parts – the neck and the body. When the final parts are assembled, the model looks completely seamless and can be assembled without applying any glue. You can add paint to complete its look, however that would be unnecessary.
According to the designer, the model needs to be 3D printed at a resolution of 0.010 resolution in ABS and needs to be added with solid fill. It might need some extra work, however, the end product sounds great when someone strums the stream.
Here, listen to the instrument at play –
#9 – Ukulele Banjitar of Three-Strung
An Electro-Acoustic Banjitar
The instrument is a combination of the banjo, the ukulele and the small guitar. Such that, when played it gives out the sound of an acoustic guitar or some electric guitar at play. The three-strung Ukulele Banjitar is a great looking instrument. However, the build-up process is a little bit tricky. You can check the comments here posted by a Thinginverse user who has built his own Ukele Banjitar. A bunch of assembly instructions has also been added so that makes your project build-up easier.
#10 – The Les Paul Style Guitar/ Stratocaster
A Les Paul Style/Stratocaster Guitar
The model was earlier designed to resemble the electronic look of a Les Paul along with the neck of a Stratocaster. However, after the assembling was complete, the model looked virtually identical to its other traditionally built guitars. The process of assembling and post processing is however time consuming and might take repeated trials to get it right. This is not an ideal project for beginners. However, when 3D printing, the model might need to be separated into pieces.
So there you have it – all the wonderful 3D printing ideas to try building your first guitar like I am thinking of doing. These are some of the best designs that I have seen and the best part is that with 3D printing, I can do more with the design and the style.