RIT researchers develop innovative 3D-printed guitar

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Guitar produced by 3D printing at RIT

United States – Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology’s AMPrint Center are turning heads with a new guitar that they have developed using 3D printing. The guitar first made its public debut when jazz musician Bob Sneider played it a several festivals last year. However, the design is believed to have greater applications beyond the music world.

RIT Professor Dennis Cormier and several of his Ph.D. students developed the guitar’s body using a plastic substrate and a unique lattice structure. This design is stronger and lighter than a typical guitar body. As such, in the future, similar structures can also be used in many other products including the development of more resilient airplane wings.

“While there has been hype around 3D-printing technologies, much of today’s 3D printers are used by hobbyists to make simple prototypes,” said Cormier, the Brinkman Professor in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and director of the center. “Together with its partners, RIT’s AMPrint Center focuses on developing 3D-printing technologies that will transform the way many products are manufactured in the future. These new 3D-printing technologies will be massively faster than anything currently on the market, and they will produce multi-material components whose properties far exceed those of today’s advanced materials.”

The AMPrint Center brings together university and corporate scientists to advance two industries that Rochester, N.Y. is noted for—printing and imaging— in a way that will significantly impact manufacturing in New York state and the nation. The center places a focus on multifunctional 3D printing— developing single products using a variety of materials with different conductive properties. Multifunctional 3D printing opens the door for a wide range of products to be made faster, stronger and less expensively.

“The vision for this center is to be at the forefront of creating the next generation of 3D-printing technologies, materials and applications,” Cormier said. “That can take the form of new technologies invented here or through partnerships with really innovative companies.”