As a professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, Olaf Diegel has used 3-D printers for more than 15 years to prototype new product ideas.
However, 3-D printing technology has recently progressed to the level where Diegel realized he could use the printers to make finished commercial products. That development inspired Diegel, who also plays guitar, to start ODD Guitars, which produces unusual custom guitars with bodies constructed using 3-D printer technology.
ODD’s guitars feature skeletal frameworks with complex designs.
“3-D printing makes it possible to manufacture ‘impossible’ shapes,” Diegel says. “For example, my Spider guitar has a spider web frame with little spiders crawling around the inside. The body is a single piece made of Polyamide, which is an extremely tough and durable form of nylon. I’ve dropped the guitars a few times without damaging them.”
Inside the body frame is a wooden core to which the custom neck, made by Warmoth, attaches, and the core material matches that of the chosen neck material. “Customers can specify mahogany or maple necks and completely customize the electronics. They can also make minor modifications, like having their name, band logo, or other graphics 3-D printed on the back of the instrument at no extra cost. We can even adjust the weight to a player’s preference.”
ODD offers five guitar models — the Atom, Hive, Scarab, Spider and Spider LP — and three bass models — Atom, Hive and Spider LP — which range in price from $3,000 to $3,500. More info about ODD Guitars can be found at odd.org.nz/guitars.html and at cubify.com/products/guitars.