3D printed guitar

Rachel sez,

Olaf Diegel, professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand has been leading the charge in a new way of creating instruments: 3D Printing. Although there are plenty of pictures of his incredible ODD instruments online, it's a little harder to find them played in well-recorded audio or video. Until now.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Marks has decided to play this guitar (and every other instrument in this video) so the world can enjoy a quick burst of 3D-Printed-guitar-love. Olaf will be exhibiting his collection of 3D printed guitars and basses from 19th-21st October at 3D Printshow London. This event will showcase all of the top brands and most incredible creatives working in the world of 3D printing today.

3D Printshow 2012 (Thanks, Rachel!)


  1. Pedantry alert:

    They didn’t so much print a guitar as print the body of a guitar.  The bridge, neck, pick-ups — really, the parts that make an electric guitar a guitar — seem purchased and definitely not printed.

    1.  I would like the trend of ‘3d Printed _____!’ headlines lessened, especially it usually turns out to be ‘one minor part was 3D printed’. Can I post my ‘3d printed car’ since I printed new radio knobs?

      1.  I can understand Cory’s enthusiasm for this technology, but I wonder whether this guitar body was printed on the type of machine that a home user has access to or is it more industrial?

      2.  This. It wouldn’t have diminished the accomplishment if the headline and story had simply said “3-D printer guitar *body*. I mean, it’s cool that this can be done, and there’s no need for the way these 3-D-printed-X stories all seem to imply a lot more than what is actually achieved.

  2. Yes, he seems to have 3D printed the least significant part of an electric guitar, the part that makes the least contribution to the sound, the body.

    3D print an acoustic guitar that sounds good and I’ll be quite enthused.

  3. I played the guitar in said video :-) While it’s true that only the body is 3D printed, it’s still a very significant step into creating new and revolutionary designs for instruments. With electric guitars, it depends what type of guitar sounds you’re going for (as to whether the body is so important) 
    The guitar body certainly is a factor – hence different body shapes / sizes / wood densities / chambering etc will create different tones between say a Tele, Strat and Les Paul.
    I think what’s cool about these is the chance to create guitars that take care of the functional part (neck / strings / pickups) and give you free reign to create something really individualistic in how the guitar looks.
    It’s also worth bearing in mind, the guitar I used in this video was an early production – the newer ones have much sexier hardware and pickups etc. I should be getting my hands on one in October at the 3D Printshow, so I’ll try and do a bit of recording and post that :-)

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