Sandvik is rocking the industry with this 3D printed, smash-proof guitar
3D printed guitars are part of those exciting applications we can see in this industry. The simple fact of seeing a guitar just makes you imagine dancing to the music it can produce. That’s exactly the way Sandvik makes the industry feel today and what brings this special feeling is the fact that the engineering group has taken advantage of its metal AM and materials technology to achieve this application.
“We had to design a guitar that is unsmashable in all the different ways you can smash a guitar,” Henrik Loikkanen, machining process developer at Sandvik Coromant said. “The engineering challenge was that critical joint between the neck and the body that usually cracks on a guitar.”
To overcome the challenge, Sandvik engineers decided to remove the joint between the neck and body, but precision remained critical. So, the team used a simulation software to predict possible distortions that could have occurred at the level of fretboard and neck. Thereafter, they experienced something new in the manufacturing process of a guitar: they milled these two parts in one machine from solid bars of recycled stainless steel.
Metal AM comes into play during the production of the body. Sandvik’s technology enabled to achieve complex design due to the need for high strength at low weight. The company explained that lasers traced a design in beds of fine titanium powder, fusing layers of material one on top of the other. The layers, each thinner than a human hair, built up into the body of the guitar. As for materials, the materials specialist of the company recommended a material that could enable an Isotropic Lightweight Structure (ILS), which is strong, stiff and light.
The guitar has been tested during a live concert by musician Malmsteen in Florida. After several songs, the musician started swinging the guitar at various stage structures, doing his best to break it. He finally admitted: “This guitar is a beast! Sandvik is obviously on top of their game. They put the work in, they do their hours. I can relate to that. The result is amazing. I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to smash.”
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