Rock stars love to smash guitars apart. Geeky engineers (and we say that with the utmost respect) love to build things. What happens when both parties meet? Probably something like the 3D-printed guitar developed by global engineering firm Sandvik. Not only does this all-metal shredding beast look like one of the coolest guitars we’ve seen in ages, but its creators claim that it is entirely unbreakable as well.
The innovative guitar’s body was produced using 3D printing, courtesy of a Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printer. The printing was done in microscopically thin layers of titanium powder, while 3D printing was also used to create the instrument’s volume knobs and strings-anchoring tailpiece. The neck and fretboard were machined from one solid block of recycled stainless steel.
To test whether its engineers really had created an unbreakable guitar, Sandvik puts its money where its mouth is and called in the best possible expert to put it through its paces. In the case of the ancient art of guitar smashing, this meant drafting in legendary Swedish heavy metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, one of the greatest electric guitar players to ever live.
“The idea to make an unsmashable guitar started with us, as an engineering company not making consumer products, wanting to highlight to a broader audience what we are capable of doing with our cutting-edge techniques and expertise,” Martin Blomgren, press relations manager for the Sandvik Group, told Digital Trends. “Yngwie Malmsteen — being a notorious guitar smasher, and at the same time a demanding perfectionist, and one of the world’s most celebrated guitarists — was the perfect choice for us. We are very happy that he accepted this challenge.”
As can be seen in the video up top, even infamous guitar-botherer Malmsteen was unable to smash the 3D-printed metal instrument. His attempt followed a live performance, during which he played the guitar in a Miami rock club.
If you want to get your hands on the unique guitar, you may soon be able to — although you’ll probably need deep pockets to do so. “Our plan is to sell it at an auction and donate the money to charity,” Blomgren said. “The details are not set yet so stay tuned for more information in a few weeks’ time.”
And for those of us not in a position to be winning one-of-a-kind guitars at auction? “The interest [in a consumer release] has been huge,” Blomgren continued. “But it is not in Sandvik’s plans to go into the music industry – the unsmashable guitar is a unique project for us.”
- Fender’s Acoustasonic guitar uses advanced tech to become a tonal chameleon
- The 25 best love songs you can stream on Spotify
- The best songs about money
- The best romance movies on Netflix (April 2019)
- Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece