Playing guitar is a very cool thing for you guys out there and these 3D printed guitars really do sound like the coolest thing ever. It is just so cool. We have seen a few before. We saw the Robo 3D kit for the acoustic guitar at CES. They have a kit that they developed, that is a small acoustic guitar that they had on display on their show space at CES. They also had a huge show piece of an electric guitar with a very intricate 3D printed body. There also a bunch of models on thingiverse and other places where we’ve seen maybe a dozen or so models. But I think this guy has raised it to a very ambitiously cool level.
These ODD Guitars has to do with the owner’s name, Olaf Diegel. He is a long standing design engineer and professor of product development in the faculty of engineering at London University in Sweden. The Europeans have been into 3D printing for a very long time and it’s no surprise that some of them take it to this level. There are great websites that have a display of Olaf’s different guitar designs. These 3D printed guitars are super cool and it’s inspiring me.
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3D Printed Guitars
Olaf Diegel has taken these 3D printed guitars to a huge level and has got some really cool design ideas. He’s making a lot of really great artistic statements like there’s one that he calls American Graffiti. It’s just got flames. It looks like a tricked out Thunderbird. It is really cool. He has got another steam punk one. These are really cool ideas that he’s exposing. One of my favorites is the one called Heavy Metal which I really like. It’s like Guns and Roses kind of thing going on it. It’s got barbed wire with roses pedals on it. Its metal 3D printed in aluminum.
It is printed on an aluminum machine that is a commercial machine. But what I like about that design in particular is that it took advantage of that printing process. That barbed wire twisting throughout there and some of the roses in there are just so cool. He tells exactly what he’s using. He’s very generous of this information on his website about what’s there. This is a very ambitious project. Is this not the coolest idea? It is big and it is bold. It makes great artistic statements. This, 3D printed guitars, is really the kind of thing that we love to talk about on this Design Inspiration Friday. Thinking about the artistic ideas about what you want to make is what is happening here. You could not do this in any other kind of method. This is a perfect application for 3D printing. I can’t imagine piecing together things that you would have to do to make it happen another way.
3D printed guitars are a perfect example of how you can use 3D printing as part of your project. I like how he didn’t try to make everything out of it. The neck of a guitar is a precision part of an instrument and that still wood. But he’s combining it with a 3D printed body. That makes perfect sense. An electric guitar is different. It’s not like an acoustic guitar where that chamber has to produce a certain resonance and sound, or amplify the sound, and the tone would be drastically affected. In an electric guitar, the body is really an artistic statement. It doesn’t play a role in the acoustic quality because it’s all coming through the electric components. It is a perfect application of using 3D printing. And it’s inspiring to me greatly, although one of my guitars is an ovation, it is a plastic round back guitar. Some people are very critical and say that it’s not a real guitar. Ovations are established and they are legit. This is inspiring me to come up with a completely different design and make my own 3D printed guitars.
This Design Inspiration Friday is for you designers out there and aspiring designers out there to start thinking about how to apply the thought process of what you want to make and figure out ways to make it happen. Just go for it and try projects that you have passion about, because you’re more likely to learn all the things you need to learn about 3D printing if you’re excited about the project. Try to go on problem solving along the way instead of just try to approach learning 3D printing. Approach it from a let’s do something fun, interesting and exciting type of perspective. That’s what we are trying to highlight on this Friday – to give projects that will make you excited, so that you’ll learn 3D printing along the way.
I want to do new things. I want to do some 3D printed center console things. I think there are other accessories and accouterments out there. Like a the window crank on my Karmann Ghia. I think we’re going to have so much fun doing a car restoration. I’ve gotten beyond the point of wanting to be pure and original because I want to make it plug and electric which is kind of easy thing to do. I’m into doing some cool and different things with a lot of details and accessories. I look forward to that, which is why it will definitely happen.
Another thing I want to throw out is that there are a lot of times you spend on talking about design inspirations to the designers, but let’s talk about the manufacturers here. If you’re a manufacturer trying to sell your own design services or your own printing services, you need to think about a flagship item.
Some of the actual manufacturers have electric guitars. Guitars are not cheap objects. I the last guitar I bought was around $2,400 or so. I bought a guitar and spent a thousand dollars for it. And that was a good quality guitar. But there are a lot more expensive ones and there are also some less expensive ones out there. But a guitar manufacturer could make a real statement and produce something that could be 3D printed as its manufacturing process takes advantage of that process and break some new ground.
The Thing with Shoes
It’s no different. I wrote that article in for Inc. Magazine about New Balance making these 3D printed soles to the shoes. They sell those shoes in a limited edition for $400 a pair. Are you even going to run on them? There is a way to elevate your brand in being associated with 3D printing from that perspective. But if you are the service provider, this is where you should spend some of your marketing dollars. Go spend $10,000 because that is the cost to hire a great designer to do something exceptional. That highlights how wonderful your machine is because today people think that the machine makes is for aerospace and not for the local industry. If you want to show to the local community where you might be able to drum up more business, show them something that they are inspired by and excited by. Or show them something that could make them say I never thought about making that.
For instance if you have a target market, let’s say you want to attract a certain type of business to your company to provide them services. You probably have an idea of the owners of this company. Maybe they are golfers or maybe they are interested in music. Are the owners of these companies interested in music? When you find out what they’re interest is just say, “We just designed and printed the coolest thing on our printer and you have to see it.” That’s a whole lot better than saying, “I’m going to make a sales call to you again.” That is the best marketing money you can spend right there, because now you got them excited and they’re having fun. Even if they don’t contact you for services right at that moment, they are going to still tell everyone.
- Olaf Diegel’s 3D printed guitars
- Robo 3D Kits
- Ways 3D Printing Can Save the Planet, Shift a Company & Run a Marathon
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