3D printers have made some pretty amazing things. The more unique designs, however, are only prototypes that are meant to be proofs of concept. That's why it's so refreshing to see a 3D printed prototype that's not only pretty awesome, but it actually works.
Scott Summit, co-founder of Bespoke Innovations, has made a career out of 3D printing. He creates stylish prosthetic limbs that stand out for their intricate and beautiful designs instead of simply being a prosthetic. Now he's turning his design and 3D printing skills towards a dream he's had since childhood.
Speaking to Businessweek, Summit said that he recently designed a guitar that he then sent off to 3D Systems to have printed. He had already attempted to make his own guitar once when he was child, but $100 worth of wood resulted in a guitar that didn't sound very good. Would $3,000 worth of plastic change anything? He didn't expect it to, but was surprised to find that the plastic guitar sounded pretty good.
Now Summit is working on new iterations of the plastic guitar. He told Businessweek that he sees the future of guitar production in 3D printing. He suspects that people will be able to use a program that lets them pick out the precise treble, bass and sustain they want out of a guitar, and then have the custom made instrument delivered straight to their door.
This is far from the first 3D printed instrument, but it's probably the most complex yet. Previous excursions into 3D printed instruments resulted in a flawed, but still acceptable, flute.
It will be interesting to see where this goes not just for guitars, but for all other instruments. I can't really imagine a 3D printed brass instrument, but I can only assume that some innovative mind will find a way to recreate the same effect in plastic.