Electric Guitar Project at Penn State University

Posted by Lonnie Bramon at

Hello Burt,
I hope this message finds you doing well. I wanted to give you a quick update about my open source electric guitar.
Parts have been coming out great! Your filament is extremely high quality stuff; thanks again for your support throughout the project.
I have attached some pictures below so you can see how things are coming together. Pic 33 is the lower-bout of the guitar. I snapped the pic mid print so I could show the internal structure. I have chosen an infill pattern and density that should work well to maximize the mode of vibration I am after. I wasn't sure how each piece would resonate, but after printing I am happy to say that PLA can be used to create a viable alternative to a wood.
Pic 34 is part of the pickup that will be used on the guitar. It is a simple design I have come up with; 2 ABS plastic plates that are compression fit around a special bar magnet, and a copper coil. Very simple in construction, but I believe it will be a real screamer once complete.
The last pic is what the guitar body will look like once assembled. I am already planning tweaks for prototype #2 that will incorporate a more advanced interlocking design. I wanted to do the interlock for prototype #1, but there was too much design work and it was slowing down the entire project. I adapted my design to keep things moving.
I am very close to completing the guitar, but there are still a few pieces that need to be printed. I underestimated the amount of time each part would take to complete. Per penn state regulation. I have to attend the printers I'm using at all times. It is difficult to carve out 12 hours to sit in a lab between classes and my job. There were some very late nights, but I'm making good progress.
Speaking of jobs, I just got a new one! I was recently hired by SolidDynamics, a 3D printing firm is State College. The owner of the business is very interested in my project and has given me permission to use the company's printers any time they are idle so I can complete my guitar. I am very excited to finish up #1 and begin prototype #2. There are some very smart people who can help me advance my design, I'm excited to begin working in mid January.
My ultimate goal is to refine my design and once I am confident it is a truly musical instrument, release it to the world for free. I'm certain there are others who will come up with amazing changes I never thought of.
If you have any questions please let me know, Burt. I will keep you in the loop as things continue to progress. Science-y stuff aside, everything I know about guitar and pickup construction tells me this is gonna be one raunchy sounding guitar; no gimmicks, a real thunderstick. Can't wait to plug this in and jam!
Thanks again for everything.
Best Regards,
Wesley Hart

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