We’ve seen guitars 3D printed in plastics and then 3D printed in metal (many of these were done by Olaf Diegel, Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland). But we had yet to see a working guitar 3D printed in real wood. For that, we needed Forust technology.
The company was founded on the experience with binder jetting of wood powder conducted by Emerging Objects over the years. Its technology has been combined with the creativity of Desktop Metal’s marketing team (led by Ilya Myrman, also a guitar enthusiast) after acquiring Forust in the recent shopping spree, and the DfAM capabilities of Professor Diegel.
The result looks stunning and, according to Prof. Diegel, who also plays the guitar very well, it sounds great. The Forust process leverages a binder jetting additive manufacturing process with wood sawdust and bio-epoxy resin as a binder. If optimized for high productivity, it could represent a more sustainable future for the manufacture of high-end wooden products.
The design was done using a combination of Solidworks and nTopology. According to Prof. Diegel, it contains a diamond TPMS lattice structure (an improved version of a gyroid). The guitar is fitted with Seymour Duncan hot-rodded humbuckers, Schaller bridge and switch, Gotoh tuners, and a Warmoth maple/rosewood neck.
“The on-demand 3D printing of wood using waste natural materials is a gamechanger,” commented William McDonough, Architect, Author of Cradle to Cradle [….] We have only begun to explore its beneficial potentials, but it is clear they are immense.”
The best part of this project is that the material cost is almost null. For now, there are costs associated with the machines and software used, and especially the time and skills required to design it. As these become more widely established, though, the cost of digital wooden products could be drastically reduced. The future of 3D printed wood looks and sounds great.