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The world's first 3D-printed smash-proof guitar

Rock stars have been smashing guitars for decades. We decided to test our cutting-edge techniques by building the world’s first 3D printed, all-metal, smash-proof guitar and challenged guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen to break it. (Watch the film to see how they did it.)

In the guitar project, Sandvik decided to use additive manufacturing for the body of the guitar, which was printed in titanium.

“The reason for selecting the body for additive manufacturing was that the shape was extremely complex – and additive manufacturing allows tremendous design freedom. By using 3D printing we could build complex internal lattice structures, impossible to mill, with the purpose to make the body of the guitar both light and strong”, says Harald Kissel, R&D Manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing.

The guitar nobs and stoptail were also printed, since these structures were also quite complex – and only a few pieces of each needed to be produced. They could all be printed on the same building plate, even if the designs were completely different. Another advantage of metal additive manufacturing.

The smash-proof guitar is a very good example of when subtractive and additive technologies complement each other in an excellent way.

“Sandvik Group’s leading capabilities within both additive manufacturing and traditional, subtractive manufacturing through CNC machining, is unique”, says Harald Kissel. “Additive manufacturing is fantastic for certain components, but for others, subtractive manufacturing will remain more cost-efficient. Sandvik has the competence in-house to offer products and advice related to both areas.”