Additive Manufacturing Strategies

The Remarkable Hans Fouche Returns with a 3D Printed Acoustic Guitar

ST Medical Devices

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe cover a lot of creative and prolific designers and makers at 3DPrint.com, but few of them create with the kind of manic energy that South African maker Hans Fouche does.

Not only does he come up with incredible inventions like a 3D printed, fully functional vacuum cleaner that doubles as a flower pot, but he prints everything on supersized printers that he builds himself. It seems that every time we turn around, he’s come up with some marvelous new creation, the most recent being a 3D printed acoustic guitar.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe’ve seen some impressive 3D printed electric guitars that combine creativity with functionality, but so far there haven’t been too many 3D printed acoustic guitars. Fouche and his company Fouche 3D Printing based their acoustic guitar design off a wooden Yamaha guitar and printed it with their massive, recently completed Cheetah 2 printer.

The 3D printed guitar, weighing in at 3.5 kg, is a bit heavier than its 2.2 kg wooden model, but otherwise it’s a perfect dimensional copy. The soundbox was printed in 3.3 mm layers, making a total wall thickness of 6.6 mm, and the neck was printed in solid ABS. This guitar is just the first prototype; according to Fouche’s press release he shared with us, the design of the second iteration is already in the works:

“The design of the sound-box will be changed to a single skin and reinforcing webs for prototype 2, and some reinforcement, like carbon fiber rods, to make the neck stiffer will also be considered for prototype 2.”

Although it’s only a prototype, the 3D printed guitar plays as well as a traditionally manufactured instrument. You can see a demonstration of its capabilities in the below video:

Although there are some issues with background noise, the sound quality is good enough to show that Fouche’s guitar plays as well as any other acoustic guitar. Fouche plans to release additional videos shortly, including one that shows the guitar playing with a traditional wooden guitar for comparison.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSince the Cheetah 2 was completed, Fouche and company have been cranking out print after print to demonstrate its capabilities. The printer uses pellets instead of filament, drastically cutting costs, as pellets can be purchased in bulk from wholesalers at only a fraction of the price of standard filament. The Cheetah, as its name suggests, is also extremely fast, about ten times faster than most 3D printers on the market.

Fouche doesn’t seem to be interested in printing items that don’t serve a purpose. Everything the Cheetah has generated has been useful and well-crafted; most recently, Fouche presented a 3D printed car jack that is stronger and tougher than any plastic product has a right to be. He’s open to suggestions for what the Cheetah should print next. Have an idea? Whether it’s a serious business proposition or a “wild and funny” concept, send it to [email protected], and Fouche and company just might work with you to produce it.

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