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But You Can't Print A Fish

Oh great, he's referencing REO Speedwagon now

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I built a big printer. I needed something to print.

This is a 3D printed guitar. The entire guitar -- except for the bridge, frets, pickups, and tuners -- will be printed in one single piece. The goal of this project is to test out my 'extended Y axis' printer, which means I need a really long, but not too wide guitar to print.

The guitar I'm modeling this on is the Gibson Firebird. This design is unique in that the headstock, neck, and body are one single (laminated) piece of wood. I'm going to print the headstock, neck, and body as one gigantic monolithic part. The sides and fretboard will be glued on, but whatever.

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  • Might as well do some research...

    Benchoff07/02/2017 at 20:16 1 comment

    I had to go down to Tennessee this weekend. I thought about buying a wig on Amazon and getting the Sun Sphere selfie, but that just didn't work out. I did manage to go to the Songbirds guitar museum in Chattanooga, though.

    Want to know how awesome this guitar museum is? Around 1952, Gibson came out with their first solid body electric guitar. It was the Les Paul, and after a few years' worth of modifications, they really built something great. Around 1958, the design of the Les Paul was about what you could pick up in a Guitar Center today: tune-o-matic bridge, two humbuckers, and importantly a sunburst finish. In 1960, because the popularity of these guitars was waning, Gibson ended production of the carved top Les Paul and switched over to the thinner, pointier SG.

    In the late 60s, musicians started realizing how awesome the Les Paul actually was. Peter Green of the good version of Fleetwood Mac picked one up. Jimmy Page picked one up. Clapton got one. Slash eventually got five. Production of the Les Paul resumed around 1969, but guitars dating from 1958-1960 are incredibly rare and insanely valuable. If you want one, it'll cost you a quarter million dollars, at least. When Jimmy Page dies, his is going to sell at auction for at least a million. The same goes for Paul McCartney's left handed version.

    So these are quarter million dollar guitars. The Songbirds guitar museum has thirty. If you want to do some research, this is the place to go.

    Before going in, I had a few questions about how much thinner the 'wings' of this guitar actually are, and the carve on the headstock. These pics answer the questions:

    Read more »

  • I have many leather-bound books and my 3d model smells of rich mahogany

    Benchoff06/12/2017 at 00:42 1 comment

    'tis done. Just gotta print it now.

    Fretboard radiused to 12", going dots and no binding.

    This is a pretty neat way to learn Fusion360.

  • Body nearly done

    Benchoff06/10/2017 at 11:47 0 comments

    Yeah, that's cool as hell, isn't it? The body is mostly done. The only thing left is the fretboard.

    I would like to point out what makes the construction of this guitar so unique:

    That's a side view of the entire guitar. Because of the geometry of tune-o-matic bridges, the neck must be set back from the body at about a three degree angle. This guitar also has a tilted headstock, making this a weird compound angle construction that I really can't figure out how to do in wood. This is how real Gibson Firebirds are made. It's a truly bizarre design that lends itself to very thin guitars.

    Speaking of, this is exactly as thin as you can make a guitar. There are a few constraints on this, most notably the depth of the pickup selector switch, and the depth of the quarter inch jack. This design is within thousandths of an inch of the limits of those two parts. It's actually too thin in places, but there are ways to work around that.

    So, this is one gigantic monolithic print with 'wings' glued onto the body. How am I attaching the body? With dowels:

    There are quarter inch holes on each side of that joint. Epoxy a dowel in one side, apply some glue and clamps, and everything should fit together. This isn't how the real (wooden) guitars are made - that's some sort of V-groove mortise thingy. That's a smart idea - it's self-aligning and great for production, but I want to make this easy on myself.

    Also note the control cavity and hole to the stop tailpiece. Gotta ground that shit, yo.

    The only thing left is the fretboard. And, you know, building the printer that can make this thing.

  • What and Why this is

    Benchoff06/08/2017 at 10:13 0 comments

    I'm building a really, really big printer big printer. Actually, it's more accurately called a long printer, with a meter-long y axis. This printer has been sitting in my basement unfinished for a few months now. I'm not proud of that, so maybe I need a reason to finish it.

    This is a 3D printed guitar. The entire guitar -- except for the bridge, frets, pickups, and tuners -- will be printed in one single piece. The goal of this project is to test out my 'extended Y axis' printer, which means I need a really long, but not too wide guitar to print.

    The guitar I'm modeling this on is the Gibson Firebird. This design is unique in that the headstock, neck, and body are one single (laminated) piece of wood. I'm going to print the headstock, neck, and body as one gigantic monolithic part. The sides and fretboard will be glued on, but whatever.

    As far as details go, I'm going to use the fancy Kluson banjo tuners, tuneomatic with stoptail, and P90s. Pretty standard, except for the P90s. Neck strength is a consideration, so in addition to a truss rod, I'm going to throw in some carbon fiber neck rods.

    This is all still very much a work in progress, but I already have most of the body modeled:

    Fuck Firebird tuners are heavy:

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AVR (lordKiCAD) wrote 10/02/2018 at 02:19 point

If you print this guitar, I will come running with my amp!

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 06/08/2017 at 18:32 point

hmm, you could have started with a "stick" design Ukulele - but I wish you all the best and good luck!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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