Today, I was alerted to two different 3D printed guitars that had just been uploaded to the world wide net. One, made by 3D artist Michael Tyson, was printed with Polymaker’s PolyMax™ PLA, which was recently rated highly by materials consultant firm 3D Matter. The other is an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired piece uploaded to MyMiniFactory by Francesco Orrù. If the two were to enter a boxing ring, which do you think would be doing the KO-ing?
Mike Tyson, designer at 3D Printing Solutions Australia, used the new UP Box 3D printer and Polymaker’s filament to craft a guitar featuring the suits found in a deck of cards. Tyson was able to additively create multiple layers in his design and, 3D printing them in four sections to fit the Box’s 205x205mm printbed, design compartments for each component. Additionally, this allowed the guitar to be light and ergonomic.
He then glued the sections together with an epoxy resin, a Dremel hand tool, and strands of PolyMax, relying on plastic fusion welding to bond and clean up the assembled print. To achieve the smooth look pictured here, Tyson applied plastic primer and a high build primer, before sanding and spray painting the guitar in metallic blue and coating it with lacquer. The guitar also features traditional techniques, like lutheir woodworking, to create the instrument’s Queensland Mahogany core.
Tyson says, “The end goal was to demonstrate what can be achieved with current Desktop 3D Printers. Consumers are tired of seeing vases and figurine models; they need a lot more to be inspired. This project has achieved the wow factor that we set out for. We decided to use PolyMaker’s PolyMax filament as it was important to use a material that would not warp during the print. In addition it needed to be strong but not too brittle. The PolyMax was defiantly the right decision.” Polymaker indicates that the .stl files for the instrument will be uploaded soon, but you can hear how it sounds in the video below.
Francesco Orrù’s guitar falls on the other side of the design spectrum. Rather than the streamlined look of Tyson’s, this Lovecraft guitar favors large embellishments that could only be inspired by incomprehensible beasts of horror. In ZBrush, the artist crafted Lovecraft’s Godfish and Necronomicon onto the instrument, which is made up of 8 different parts, 6 for the body, one volume cover, and one piece for the guitar’s humbuckers.
Orrù says that the print took him about 100 hours to print the guitar, relying on a DeltaWASP and a Replicator 2 at 20% infill for the guitar’s 4 longer parts on the outside of the guitar. The pieces for the humbuckers were printed on the Replicator 2 at 40% infill for greater strength. And the volume cover was printed at 15% infill, while the pick up cover was printed at 10%.
The artist provides all of the files on MyMiniFactory and even gives a list of all of the non-printed components used so that you can try and make one yourself. Both this and his previous H.R. Geiger-inspired guitar are perfect for metalheads with an appreciation of literature and visual art.
So, whether you’re into simple designs and Poker or reaching into the darkest regions of the collective unconscious, there’s a 3D printed electric guitar for you. And that will probably determine who would win in your mental cage match: Tyson or Lovecraft.