When it comes to 3D printed musical instruments, a man named Olaf Diegel stands out from the rest. He a fellow who has been in the news quite a bit lately thanks to his intricately designed instruments. Back in July Diegel 3D printed a playable Saxophone after being challenged by 3D Systems’ CEO Avi Reichental.
“I’ve been collaborating with 3D Systems on all my instruments,” explained Diegel to 3DPrint.com. “Undoubtedly, there is a difference in sound between a plastic and a metal instrument, but it’s hard to say that one sounds worse, or better, than the other. My suspicion is that it has a lot more to do with the player than the instrument.”
It’s not just a saxophone that Diegel has designed though. In fact, he has had a hand in creating 3D printed guitars, keyboards, drums and more. Back in September, the world’s first 3D printed live concert took place in Sweden using Diegel’s 3D printed instruments.
Probably the most famous and desirable of Diegel’s designs are those of his 3D printed guitars, which can be purchased for between $3,000 and $4,000 on Cubify. At CES 2015, I had the opportunity to see these guitars first hand, as they were exhibited on the showroom floor. I also was able to witness Stevie Wonder take a few strums himself on this beautiful instrument.
Also on hand at the 3D Systems booth at CES, was another famed musician. Kenny Lee Lewis, the longtime guitarist-turned-bassist for the Steve Miller Band, also got to try out one of 3D Systems’ printed guitars. In doing so, he played one of the band’s greatest hits, Fly Like An Eagle, hitting every note and sounding as if he were putting on a concert for thousands of fans at Madison Square Garden. 3D Systems’ CEO Avi Reichental even got his groove on with some head bobbing and singing of his own.
The guitar which Lewis played, is called the Americana and it features a homage to New York City within its body. Inside of the guitar includes 3D renderings/prints of the Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Staten Island Ferry, and Robert Indiana’s Love sculpture. Priced at $4,000, it’s not an instrument just any musician can afford, but one that many would love to have the opportunity to play. Check out the video of Lewis and Reichental performing their *duet* below.
3D Systems tells 3DPrint.com that Lewis is such a fan of these 3D printed guitars, that he has his very own Hive Guitar, also designed by Diegel and 3D printed by 3D Systems. He uses it on the road with the Steve Miller Band. So next time you are at one of their concerts, keep an eye out for Lewis’s 3D printed guitar (pictured below)
What do you think about Olaf Diegel’s 3D printed instruments? Discuss in the 3D Printed Guitar forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos of Lewis jamming out below.3DSystems]
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