Hilko and i.materialise create custom guitars with 3D printed parts

3D printed guitarHilko Nackaerts is a Belgian designer and luthier (that’s a fancy word for a guy who makes stringed instruments, for those of you too lazy to use Wikipedia).

For a decade or so he has been designing, crafting and creating unique, custom guitars for clients across the music industry, including Simple Minds, Triggerfinger and K’s Choice.

Recently, Nackaerts has turned to 3D printing to add a new layer of distinctiveness to his instruments. His latest tailored guitars have been created using components and parts 3D printed by i.materialise.

This method allows him to easily make specific parts that would, otherwise, be very difficult to source.

This might remind you of casino pa natet Olaf Diegal, the New Zealand designer who has been 3D printing guitars and other instruments in collaboration with 3D Systems for the last few years. Diegal even 3D printed an entire band’s worth of instruments, including drums, keyboard and guitar for the group that rocked the Euromold conference in Frankfurt last November.

The key difference between Nackaerts” and Diegal”s work, however, is that the latter prints his entire guitar’s body in nylon. Though this gives his pieces a very modernist look, it also affects the sound. Nackaert’s instruments come with handcrafted bodies and just use 3D printing for certain components.Hilko guitars 3D printing

This means the guitars keep the classic look and sound, as evidenced in the video of Triggerfinger below, where singer and guitarist Ruben Block plays a Hilko 3D printed guitar.

Naekarts describes the affect of 3D printing on his creative process like so:  

I use i.materialise to print my headstock logos, custom made control knobs, pickup rings or replicas of hard to find vintage guitar parts… Our clients are thrilled with the results. Ruben Block from Triggerfinger was very pleased with the custom made sterling silver headstock logo for his Hollowbody HC guitar.

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