ODD band to play 3D-printed instruments at Frankfurt gig
By Paul Ridden
November 25, 2013
ODD is the brainchild of Olaf Diegel, and the last time Gizmag caught up with the Kiwi Professor of Mechtronics he had just unveiled a pair of beautifully intricate 3D-printed guitar bodies attached to an all wood neck, and sporting some high end hardware. He's since wrapped more of his eye-popping designs over mahogany or maple inner cores and gone into production, offering personalizable and customizable electric guitars and bass models costing from US$3,000 each. Now he's put a keyboard in a 3D-printed housing, and replaced the wood shells on the toms, kick and snare of a Sonor drum kit with 3D-printed nylon. The whole ensemble will be on display at EuroMold next month, where a band will take to the stage to play some live sets using the instruments.
I've had to introduce the band many times over the years, but the instruments have never upstaged the players before ... until now. Though the Ladybug keys and Atom Drums will definitely be heading to Frankfurt, Diegel has not made it clear at this point which electric and bass guitars will be going along, so I've chosen to outline a couple of his newer creations.
The 3D-printed components used in all of the instruments were produced by 3D Systems in the US. The company used an sPro 230 Selective Laser Sintering system at 0.1 mm resolution, which is much higher than your average desktop 3D printer (though consumer-level technology is improving all the time), hence the smoother finish and finer detail.
I think it's fair to say that all of Diegel's guitars are stunners, but the moving gears and piston within the Steampunk Telecaster really put this one in a jaw-dropping category of its own. The whole of the body, including the gears that start to climb up behind the bridge and the pumping piston below the pickups, is printed in one go. The instrument is then treated to some custom airbrushing by New Zealand artist Ron van Dam.
You can see the guitar in action in the video below.
The 3D-printed body is installed on a maple inner core, onto which the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickups and Schaller 475 chrome bridge are mounted. A Warmoth Pro Tele neck in maple, topped by a maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, is added and ends in Gotoh Mini 510 locking tuners on the head. Each 3.2 kg (7 lb) guitar is custom made to order, so players can tweak hardware to suit personal needs or preferences.
Hive B bass guitar
Would it have been too much if Martin Brett of Voice of the Beehive stomped onto the stage with a Hive B bass guitar? I don't think so. Available in 4 or 5 string variations, in plain or airbrushed finished, this honeycomb-styled Les Paul-shaped bass guitar has a Schaller 463 roller bridge, EMG Hz 35 passive pickups, and Gotoh GB7 bass tuners. If you think you hear fret buzz from the rosewood fingerboard on a Warmoth Pro angled maple neck, it could just be the bees inside the body getting ready to take flight.
We now move into a definite for the Frankfurt band. Diegel has placed a Yamaha P35 digital piano in a beautifully intricate, nature-inspired outer shell. The lid and back sport a similar insect- and flower-packed design as the Scarab guitar we featured last year, while armies of ladybugs march up and over the sides.
Atom Drum Kit
Providing the beats will be a five piece Sonor SmartForce kit that's had the shells of the 12-, 13- and 16-inch toms, 22-inch bass drum and 14-inch snare removed and replaced with SLS-printed Duraform PA GF designs. The cymbal, hi-hat and drum hardware remains. "I was expecting the 3D print, and all the holes, to dramatically affect its acoustic properties, but there's little noticeable difference between it and the original kit," Diegel tells Gizmag.
Between live sets with the 3D-printed Band (working title), the ODD instruments will be on display at stand E68 in Hall 11.0 at EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany, between December 3 and 6.
Source: Olaf Diegel