3-D printing is not a particularly new technology, though its bounds are constantly being pushed. The process can be understood as a series of minute building blocks. The printer releases a gummy substance in exhaustively small amounts, which solidify as more is applied, eventually creating a three dimensional object consisting of hardened powder.
Scott Summit, founder of Bespoke Innovations, uses this technology to create prosthetic limbs. By scanning the body, computers are able to design and produce a fully functional, body-appropriate prothesis.
Summit’s endeavors are not limited to medicine. Shown below is an acoustic guitar printed through this method, using nylon and bit of stainless steel and sterling silver for the neck and head stock – Summit’s was the first of its kind. For a modest 4k, a small home office sized 3-D printer could be yours – though you won’t be making guitars.
“It’s rich and full and has a great tonal range,” according to Summit.
While it may seem odd that a nylon guitar could produce the proper delicate sound, it’s really about understanding the way an acoustic guitar functions (More on that in a later post, stay tuned). Summit has full manipulation of the shape of the guitar down to a incremental level; the possibilities for sound customization are only in beginning stages.
Nylon isn’t the only substance used for 3-D printing. If you can melt a substance – metals like silver or steel, for instance, – and turn it into a powder, then you can print with it.
What would you 3-D print first?