3D Printing is slowly working itself into guitar manufacturing from those in the know and Professor of Mechtronics, Olaf Diegel has taken this fairly new technology and created some very unique and interesting guitar designs that would be impossible to create using traditional carving or CNC machines. Olaf’s guitar company is called ODD Guitars based in Auckland, New Zealand. Check out the Scarab guitar above for an idea of the complexity possible with 3D Printing.
The actual 3D printing technology used for these guitars is called ‘Selective Laser Sintering’ (SLS) and builds the components by spreading a thin layer of nylon powder, that is then fused in the correct locations for that particular slice of the component. The layer is then dropped down a fraction of a millimeter, and another layer of powder is spread on top of the first, and the process is repeated until the component is built. The typical layer thickness is 0.1mm. The guitars are so lightweight that in some cases such as the Scarab which weighs in at just 2.2Kg Olaf uses lead to increase the weight up to 3Kg to improve the balance of the guitar.
The hardware (pickups, bridges, necks, tuning heads, etc.) used on all ODD guitars are all top quality off-the-shelf hardware such as Schaller, Seymour Duncan and the necks are made by Warmoth.
You can check out more info on ODD guitars and see the other 2 available models at http://www.odd.org.nz/.