Many beginner guitar builders focus on building the body and skip the neck, which has a lot of tricky dimensions to achieve if you want a well-playable instrument. However, [Jón Schone] of Correct printing wanted to start with the hardest part of his guitar building journey and set out to 3D print a one piece guitar neck.
Designing a fretboard may seem difficult at first glance, but the Marz Guitar Designer plugin for FreeCAD makes creating one a snap. Once imported into Fusion 360, the geometry is modified for 3D printing, specifically to accommodate the adjustment bar inside. Printed on a Creality CF30 belt printer (which, oddly enough, was wall mounted) in green PLA, the resulting neck can be spotted as a non-traditional design from a mile away. With a hammered-in truss rod, frets installed, and hardware attached, it’s mounted to an inexpensive kit guitar for testing.
The printed neck works, and it’s given a proper shakedown with a few proper riffs to put it through its paces. It would be a little flexible, but still playable and its performance is surprisingly normal. [Jón] now plans to continue the project by 3D printing the rest of the guitar.
In the meantime, if you’re tired of tuning your own guitar, consider building a robot tuner to help you out. Video after the break.
[Thanks to Zane Atkins for the tip!]