3D-printed electric guitars and bass guitars are nothing new for Olaf Diegel, a design engineer and professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. Since 2011, he has been building gorgeously intricate custom electric instruments he calls ODD guitars using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing to craft the bodies.
He then adds a mahogany or maple wood core, a wooden neck, tuning pegs, a bridge, pickups, and controls for a fully playable instrument.
These guitars are available through Diegel's Web site, and now he's added two more to his range. The four will be played together live onstage at the EuroMold design fair in Frankfurt, Germany on December 3-6, by the "3D-printed Band" (band name subject to change).
The Hive B honeycomb bass guitar and Steampunk guitar (with moving gears in the body) will be joined by the Ladybug keyboard -- a Yamaha P35 keyboard inside a 3D-printed chassis -- and the Atom drum kit, a Sonor Smart Force kit with the shells replaced with 3D-printed ones.
We already know that ODD guitars sound pretty good, as per the video below, and we can't imagine that changing the body would elicit much change in the sound of an electric keyboard. But we would like to hear what the drums sound like.
According to Diegel, they're not hugely different, though. He told Gizmag, "I was expecting the 3D print, and all the holes, to dramatically affect its acoustic properties, but there's little noticeable difference between it and the original kit."
(Source: CNET Australia)