AMS Spring 2023

A Truly Disturbing 3D Printed Guitar Inspired By Surrealist Master H.R. Giger

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Hans Rudolf Giger, better known as H.R. Giger, was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer who was part of a special effects group which took an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for the film Alien, and for that achievement, he was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.

H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger

Giger’s style was perhaps most characterized by one of his famous paintings, Necronom IV, and his books of paintings Necronomicon and Necronomicon II helped shoot the artist to international fame.

Francesco Orrù is a designer from Sardinia who’s spent the last two years in London after earning his BS in Computer Science at the University of Bologna. He now works at MyMiniFactory.com as a 3D artist specializing in digital sculpting with Zbrush. He’s also studying for his Master’s Degree in Computer Animation in Kingston University, and he was inspired by Giger’s signature style to create a 3D printed guitar as an homage to the Swiss artist.

“I played guitar when I was in Italy for more than 5 years and I had a small band with my colleagues at the University in Bologna,” Orrù tells 3DPrint.com.

It was that experience as a musician and designer that led Orrù to create this amazing instrument. The 3D printed electric guitar was a collaborative effort with Orrù’s fellow MyMiniFactory employee, Lee Plastow, from the company’s engineering team.

According to the designer, the guitar took four full days of sculpting in Zbrush, and the solid modeling for the piece was done in Autodesk Inventor by Plastow. Orrù imported the four pieces Plastow had rendered and then placed his details on top of it.

3D printed HR Giger Guitar detail 2Simone Fontana designed the small white cover for the pick up areas, and then Orrù went to work again to redesign the volume and tone input areas in Zbrush.

The guitar was then printed in six pieces. The two central pieces for the humbucking pickups were printed at 40% infill, and the two external pieces were done at 20% infill while the entire body and the various detail elements of the guitar were printed using Delta Wasp, Zortrax and Replicator 2 printers. Only the neck and the electronics weren’t 3D printed.

Completing the project took a full 24 hours for the pick up areas, and Orrù believes the total project took some 80 to 90 hours to print.

So how does it sound?

“Well, given that the pickups weren’t Seymour Duncan, but ‘just’ Wilkinson, for a first test, it still sounds quite good in my opinion,” Orrù says. “I’ve tested the guitar at work using my small Marshall and a set of Ernie Ball strings. I can’t say that it sounds better than a wood one, but I know from my experience that if the pick ups are expensive, you can even forget about the body material and have a good quality guitar with your customized design printed at home.”

Orrù says the post-processing work was done by Catherine Wood at MyMiniFactory who first treated the guitar with acrylic primer, airbrushed it in brown acrylics and a black wash and then painted the back with a light brown and a brushed-in wood effect. The front of the instrument was finished with a wood stain and then sealed with a gloss coat.


Francesco Orru HR Giger Guitar

What do you think of this H.R. Giger-inspired guitar by Franceso Orrù of MyMiniFactory? Would you like to design and print your own guitar? Let us know in the 3D Printed Guitar Inspired By H.R. Giger forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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