Music

There's a spider in my guitar: Olaf Diegel's beautifully detailed 3D printed guitars

There's a spider in my guitar:...
Olaf Diegel has created a range of guitars with 3D printed bodies, which will be made available in June
Olaf Diegel has created a range of guitars with 3D printed bodies, which will be made available in June
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Buyers of the production model of the ODD 3D printed guitar will be given the opportunity to have their own logo or name included on the rear of the guitar's body
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Buyers of the production model of the ODD 3D printed guitar will be given the opportunity to have their own logo or name included on the rear of the guitar's body
The pickups, bridge and neck are not 3D printed of course, and will be offered in various custom configurations in the forthcoming production model
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The pickups, bridge and neck are not 3D printed of course, and will be offered in various custom configurations in the forthcoming production model
The stunning detail of the 3D printed body of the ODD guitar
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The stunning detail of the 3D printed body of the ODD guitar
Pretty in pink - the ODD Scarab model with 3D printed plastic body
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Pretty in pink - the ODD Scarab model with 3D printed plastic body
This ODD Scarab is 3D printed using Alumide instead of pure nylon
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This ODD Scarab is 3D printed using Alumide instead of pure nylon
Looking like a petrified forest, close up of the intricate detail of the Alumide Scarab guitar body
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Looking like a petrified forest, close up of the intricate detail of the Alumide Scarab guitar body
Identifying the model, a Scarab sits between the humbucking pickups
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Identifying the model, a Scarab sits between the humbucking pickups
The ODD Spider in Alumide
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The ODD Spider in Alumide
The Spider has a number of fearsome-looking ODD arachnids positioned throughout its web-like lattice
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The Spider has a number of fearsome-looking ODD arachnids positioned throughout its web-like lattice
One of the spiders within the web of the 3D printed body of the Spider guitar
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One of the spiders within the web of the 3D printed body of the Spider guitar
Olaf Diegel has created a range of guitars with 3D printed bodies, which will be made available in June
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Olaf Diegel has created a range of guitars with 3D printed bodies, which will be made available in June
ODD Spider in black with red ODD included on the back of each resident arachnid
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ODD Spider in black with red ODD included on the back of each resident arachnid
Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
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Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
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Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
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Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the ODD Spider
ODD Spider in black with red ODD included on the back of each resident arachnid
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ODD Spider in black with red ODD included on the back of each resident arachnid
Olaf Diegel playing a blue ODD Spider model
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Olaf Diegel playing a blue ODD Spider model
Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the blue ODD Spider
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Close up of one of the spiders at home in the web body of the blue ODD Spider
The blue ODD Spider by Olaf Diegel
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The blue ODD Spider by Olaf Diegel
Olaf Diegel describes the tone offered by the 3D-printed plastic (or plastic/aluminum) instruments as not being quite as bright as guitars with bodies fashioned from wood but the forthcoming production models should take care of that
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Olaf Diegel describes the tone offered by the 3D-printed plastic (or plastic/aluminum) instruments as not being quite as bright as guitars with bodies fashioned from wood but the forthcoming production models should take care of that
The wonderful Les Paul-shaped Atom guitar with electrons that actually spin around the nucleus within the open body should be available by the end of the year
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The wonderful Les Paul-shaped Atom guitar with electrons that actually spin around the nucleus within the open body should be available by the end of the year

Gizmag has featured many guitars over the years that have veered well away from slight design variations on the ubiquitous Les Paul or Strat body shapes. There have been those which are just stunning (Di Donato/Stereo Acoustic/Tesla Prodigy), others have a look that's both familiar and strange (Ministar/Jetson/Sonic Wind), and others still that are quite frankly bizarre (gAtari 2600/iTar). I think it's fair to say, though, that none have ever looked quite as extraordinarily beautiful as Olaf Diegel's 3D-printed Scarab and Spider electric guitars.

A Professor of Mechtronics at Massey University's School of Engineering & Advanced Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, Diegel told Gizmag that his wonderfully elaborate designs are in the final stages of prototyping ahead of anticipated June availability. He explained that the models featured in the gallery "have their core made out of solid nylon, or aluminum-filled nylon, but the latest (and I think final) design iteration has a core made out of wood, which allows us to better control the resonance and tone of the guitar, which will allow us to do more customization, not just on how the guitar looks, but also on how it sounds."

Olaf Diegel playing a blue ODD Spider model
Olaf Diegel playing a blue ODD Spider model

The Polyamide 2200 or Alumide body of both the prototypes has been created in one piece using an EOS Formiga P100 selective laser sintering system. The Spider has a number of fearsome-looking ODD arachnids positioned throughout its web-like lattice, while there are numerous flowers and insects hanging from the vines of the Scarab. The body shape is rather reminiscent of a Steinberger P-Series headless guitar, with the size being determined by limitations imposed by the current printer. Diegel told us that there are other designs waiting patiently in the wings for the move to a bigger machine, including the wonderful Les Paul-shaped Atom guitar with electrons that actually spin around the nucleus within the open body.

"What makes the technology so great is that we can print all the insects, and intricate detail, inside the guitar bodies all in one piece together with the body," said Diegel. "No assembly needed!"

The designer described the tone offered by the 3D-printed plastic (or plastic/aluminum) instruments as not being quite as bright as guitars with bodies fashioned from wood but the production models should take care of that. These will feature a CNC-machined wood core body surrounded by the 3D-printed plastic open body shape. It's described as being essentially a sleeve that completely envelops the wooden core so that the wood isn't visible, although there is always room to include a stripped away effect to let the stained or natural wood show through strategically-positioned gaps.

The stunning detail of the 3D printed body of the ODD guitar
The stunning detail of the 3D printed body of the ODD guitar

Each production model will be uniquely designed for the customer, with some customization possible for the remainder of non-3D-printed hardware (such as neck, pickups, and bridge) and also the chance to replace the ODD branding on the back of the body with a name or logo.

A new website will go live closer to the launch date, when the guitars will be made available to international buyers. Prices are likely to be in the US$3,000 to US$5,000 range.

Source: ODD via Ponoko

4 comments
Matt Rings
Should smash beautifully on stage... :)
Olaf Diegel
Heheh... Will give it a try... But chances are that, being nylon, it would bounce back up and hit me in the head as revenge for trying... :-) Cheers Olaf
Samuel Arbizo
awesome use of 3d printing, this definitely makes the top ten list for this year so far. Wonderfully detailed and adds a true custom look that can be tailored for each user. The price tag is steep considering it's a relatively cheap process, why is it so expensive? Purely for the exclusivity? Can't wait to see more!
Iamdavo
Such a beautiful guitar and then they slap such a normal, ugly headstock on the thing. Oops.