In the additive manufacturing industry, Olaf Diegel is probably best known for his role as associate consultant at Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm focused on the 3D printing market. However, there is another aspect of Diegel’s work which we’d like to focus on today: he is the founder of ODD Guitars, a small venture through which he designs and 3D prints customizable guitars.
His latest project—highlighted on Wohlers’ blog—is an intricate Beatles-inspired bass guitar with a 3D printed body and hand painted surface.
While my guitar gently prints
The impressive instrument, called the Beatlemania bass, is really something to behold, especially for Beatles fans! The 3D printed body was inspired by Paul McCartner’s violin-shaped Hofner bass guitar, while numerous other details pay homage to many of the British band’s songs.
For instance, the front panel of the Beatlemania bass guitar features a series of musical notes, which make up the score for the Beatles’ contemplative hit “Yesterday.” The inside of the instrument’s body also contains a range of evocative details, like the famous Yellow Submarine, the drum kit from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, John Lennon’s glasses and the iconic scene of the four Beatles crossing Abbey Road. If you look closely, you can also glimpse a miniature version of George Harrison’s Rickenbacker guitar!
Other details characteristic of the Beatles’ hippie era include flowers, the words “Peace” and “Love” and peace symbols.
The guitar’s three dimensional outer body was printed using the selective laser sintering process and Polyamide 2200 material, while the body’s core was crafted from maple. The Beatlemania guitar and all of its intricately printed details were then hand painted by Diegel’s wife Akiko.
“ODD guitars are a range of personalisable, customisable guitars that explore the limits of 3D printing technologies and applications,” Diegel writes on the ODD Guitar website. “3D printing allows designs to be manufactured that could not be manufactured through traditional means.”
The stunning 3D printed bass guitar is not only a testament to Diegel’s own talent and craft—as well as love of the Beatles!—but it shows how 3D printing can unlock creative possibilities in the design of musical instruments.