by Mitchel Dumlao December 14, 2015

Written By Alec Via

While 3D printing is still largely a desktop affair, over the last two years or so we’ve occaissionally reported on what could be a glimpse of the future. South African 3D printing company Fouche 3D Printing, led by engineer and chololatier extraordinare Hans Fouche, has been testing the limits and potential of FDM 3D printing with the help of a remarkable 3D printer: the Cheetah. Lightening fast, as big as a garage and fed ith plastic pellets, he has already built a wide range of fascinating products, from a 3D printed lawnmower and more recently even a plastic car jack fully capable of supporting the weight of a car. However, all that wasn’t enough for Fouche, as he has just completed work on a remarkable 3D printed acoustic guitar.

Now regular readers might remember a few other 3D printed guitars, but virtually all we’ve seen so far are electric. Though cool and impressive, a reliance on electric amplification is slightly easier as you don’t need to 3D print a proper acoustic sound container (which the hollow body of an acoustic guitar actually is). However, with this first prototype Hans Fouche has realized exactly that. It can even be played, as you can see in the clip below. The sound quality of the clip isn’t so great, but camera (rather than the guitar) is at fault for that. More footage should follow shortly.

If the shape of the guitar looks familiar, that’s because it has been very closely modelled after the iconic wooden Yamaha guitar, Fouche tells us. But as you can imagine, it is quite challenging to 3D print such a dense, hollow guitar. As the South African designer explains, the neck was 3D printed in solid ABS, with the soundbox consisting of two 3 mm layers to make walls 6 mm thick. This does mean that the guitar is a bit heavier than a regular wooden guitar (at 3.5 kg, compared to the 2.2 kg of a wooden version). That weight should, however, change with the follow-up prototype. ‘The design of the sound-box will be changed to a single skin and reinforcing webs for prototype 2, and some reinforcement, like carbon fiber rods, [will be added] to make the neck stiffer,’ he tells us.

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Mitchel Dumlao
Mitchel Dumlao


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