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Check Out “Heavy Metal,” the First Guitar 3D Printed in Aluminum

by • May 4, 2016 • No Comments

Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal.

Aluminum is the many commonly discovered metal on planet Earth, and after oxygen and silicon, it is the third many commonly discovered element. Because of its low density, resistance to corrosion and its faculty to easily be combined with other metal materials, aluminum is in addition one of the many significant industrial metals around, and is invaluable to the production of aerospace and automobile components. It is in addition one of the materials that can easily be utilized for 3D printing with metal via selective laser sintering innovation. Because it is capable of generating virtually any geometry, SLS has been utilized to 3D print a few of the many high end metal parts at any time turn it intod. And now it has been utilized to 3D print the body of an awe-inspiringly beautiful guitar named “Heavy Metal.”

A close up appear at the level of additional detail within of the guitar's body.

A close up appear at the level of additional detail within of the guitar’s body.

Heavy Metal was turn it intod by Sweden-based artist and createer Olaf Diegel for his 3D printed guitar company Odd Guitars. Diegel turn it intod it to explore what precisely metal 3D printing can do, how it can be utilized and where its limitations lay. He intentionally turn it intod the turn it into incredibly difficult so he may hustle the limits of the system and turn it into a fewthing that may be concludely not easy without it. The outcome is an awe-inspiring Telecaster-style guitar body with a diamond tread-plate outer rim and an internal structure turn it intod of barbed wire and roses.

Diegel turn it intod Heavy Metal via Solidworks and and so teamed up with Holland-based 3D printing service providers Xilloc to 3D print the body as one conclude part. It was printed via an EOS M400 metal 3D printing device, that is usually utilized to make metal parts for engines and industrial machinery. Diegel originally nicknamed this project “War and Peace,” but while doing the laborious post-systeming work that was required on the printed body it became clear that Heavy Metal was a additional appropriate name.

When assembled, Heavy Metal weighs only 8 pounds.

When assembled, Heavy Metal weighs only 8 pounds.

The SLS system that Xilloc utilized was somehow simple: a thin layer of aluminum powder was spread out on a metal base-plate, and a laser melted the powder onto the base-plate layer-by-layer until the entire guitar body was conclude. Whilst the SLS system can be utilized for a wide range of materials, of plastics to nylons to metals, it works quite differently depending on precisely what material is being sintered. Typically when plastics are sintered, there is no require for any sort of assist material for the reason the powder itself acts as a assist. But when metal is utilized and the geometry of the part is especially difficult, the heat utilized to melt the metal together can in fact cause weak spots or heat stresses that may outcome in the part breaking or warping.

The raw guitar body right out of the printing device.

The raw guitar body right out of the printing device.

In order to practuallyt this, the 3D object is printed with assist structures that run down to the base-plate; howat any time, they are quite only heatsinks. The assist structures can transfer the heat away of the guitar body down to the base-plate, practuallyting any weak spots of forming. Unfortunately that means that all of that assist material can require to be removed, and for the reason Heavy Metal had such a difficult turn it into, all of it had to be done by hand. The initially step was via a metal-cutting saw to cut the base-plate off of the main guitar body. So Diegel requireed to go in and cut away all of the leftover heat-transferring structures, a system that took him four days to conclude.

When metal is 3D printed via SLS, it does not come off of the printing bed smooth or actually particularly beautiful. With aluminum, the finish is a dull gray that has a quite rocky, sand-like feel to it and it can require to be heavily systemed to both appear beautiful and feel great to the touch. After Diegel removed all of the assists, he started the system of smoothing the finish, manyly by hand. He started with a series of tiny files that may get into all of the guitar body’s additional details, and in addition did a lot of sanding, that took him another four days. Next he put the body into a machine that shot-peened it with glass beads to donate it a satin finish and remove any lingering rocky spots.

The raw finish, the finish after four days of filing and sanding and the final satin finish.

The raw finish, the finish after four days of filing and sanding and the final satin finish.

Once the body was concluded, Diegel only requireed to assemble the rest of the guitar, which include the CNC milled wooden inner core, the neck, the bridge and the different types of electronics. The outcome is a work of art, and a guitar that may do any rock star proud. Once assembled, Heavy Metal only weighs of eight pounds, that is why a lightweight metal like aluminum was chosen. Diegel additional detailed the entire turn it into, printing, post-systeming and create system over on his website, where you can in addition see a few of the other awe-inspiring guitars that he’s turn it intod – like this one played by the Steve Miller Band’s Kenny Lee Lewis, or these ones he turn it intod for the initially-at any time concert showcasing all 3D printed instruments. He’s in addition 3D printed a working saxophone, and only not long ago helped one of his Lund University students to create a new method of 3D printing prosthetics; you’d unquestionably be onlyified in calling Diegel a true 3D printing Renaissance man. What do you ponder of the guitar? Discuss in the 3D Printed Heavy Metal Guitar forum over at 3DPB.com.