Using 3D Printing Technology To Create Custom-Made Guitars

3DGT Guitars in Bega is one of the very few businesses where you can have custom-made guitars created on 3D printing equipment.

Always wanted to design an electric guitar yourself and have the new, personalised axe spring to life under your fingertips? Well, now you can.

3DGT Guitars in Bega is one of the very few businesses where you can have custom-made guitars created on 3D printing equipment.

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“It’s not common! There’s a couple of other companies around the world that are doing it,” owner Nathan Hughston said.

He has worked as a guitar tech for about 30 years before opening his new business on Auckland St about a month ago.

“I love guitars and I just saw it as a new technology to embrace and share with the world,” he said.

“We’ve been copping the same Gibsons and Strats for years and it’s probably time we moved on.

“Not that I don’t love them! I wouldn’t be here without them, but I think it’s time to move on and mix it up a bit.”

The process of making his guitars involves picking or creating a design, putting that into 3D building software, ensuring all the specifications are correct, printing the guitar’s body, then adding the neck and pick ups.

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“It’s really up to the customer what they want, because everyone plays differently so everyone wants something different in a guitar,” Mr Hughston said.

It takes five days to print a guitar’s body using the 3D printing equipment.

“It’s basically automatic, but it’s pretty temperamental!” Mr Hughston said.

“You’ve got to be a real tinkerer if you want a successful print.

“3D printing isn’t easy, it’s very hard to get your head around.”

He uses PLA (polylactic acid) for his guitars, which is a biodegradable plastic so not only do customers end up with their custom-made guitars, they are also environmentally friendly.

“That’s a big part of it for me, I don’t want to create waste,” he said.

And how do the guitars sound? “Very good”, Mr Hughston said, with most of the tone coming from the pick ups and neck wood.

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“A lot of people really are surprised,” he said.

“A lot of the old fellas are traditional wood fellas, but they are pleasantly surprised when they play it.

“And the young lads just love it, I guess because there’s nothing else like it out there at the moment.”

Guitars are not the only items 3DGT Guitars prints as Mr Hughston also makes other items like lithophanes – a personalised photo print that can be seen with a backlight – and is looking at getting a 3D scanner, because “then you can print anything”.

Originally published at Bega District News

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