3D Printed Guitar Nut - Anyone Tried It?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by BlackMastodon, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

    Messages:
    5,772
    Likes Received:
    788
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Location:
    Windsor, ON
    (Sorry if this has been covered before; just merge/necrobump the old thread if that's the case)

    So I'm buying my first 3D printer off of a coworker (Monoprice Mini) and am bored at work, looking into what this thing can do, and thinking about what the hell I'll actually make. Naturally, I'm thinking about guitar stuff, so I just thought if anyone has successfully/effectively 3D printed a guitar nut before.

    I don't think PLA would be well suited for it because of how brittle it is, but maybe ABS or other materials that are compatible with better 3D printers that I'm not as familiar with. So has anyone given it a try?
     
  2. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    323
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Lots of cheap guitars have ABS nuts, so I'm sure that would work. After post processing though, you'd probably be just as well off buying a blank. I do a ton of 3d printing, my machines basically run non-stop. Ideally would want a slipper material, and I'm not sure there are any filaments that really fit that bill.
     
    BlackMastodon likes this.
  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    3,125
    Likes Received:
    975
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    Unknown
    BlackMastodon likes this.
  4. Soya

    Soya Poor person

    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    661
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Location:
    Illinois
    Could start making 3d printed fixtures and jigs for routing and drilling. And sell them. To me.
     
  5. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've often thought a 3d printer would be nice for pickup bobbins.
     
    odibrom and BlackMastodon like this.
  6. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    323
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Sort of. Lots of post processing when you print them but with ABS you can get very good results.
     
  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

    Messages:
    3,125
    Likes Received:
    975
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Location:
    Unknown
    About a year ago when I order custom pickups, I talked to the builder and suggested him to get a 3D printer to further customize clients pickups and options. He, by then, was just buying pickup parts for his builds...
     
  8. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    323
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That's how I do multiscale pickups. It allows a LOT of flexibility.
     
    odibrom likes this.
  9. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    13,104
    Likes Received:
    4,747
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    This is genius. I’m not sure about the feasibility, but it sounds like elysian has that info. But how about 3D printing with metal sintering? We could get some pretty damn cool metal parts from that. The machines ain’t cheap, but it would be easy enough to prototype and print stuff for trem parts, metal nuts, etc. Anyone know anything about it? (Sorry for taking this OT!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Drink Sunny D, pet kitties.

    Messages:
    11,259
    Likes Received:
    8,807
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Location:
    MN, USA
    i guess it's possible, if you have a spare 10k+ lying around for the machine
     
  11. 777timesgod

    777timesgod Stop reading this...I said stop!

    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cyprus, Europe
    3-D machines are expensive but only because it is new technology, as years go by and the demand goes up while the difficulties for making one go down, we will surely see accessible options in the market.

    Waiting for the end result by the OP, intrigued to see it actually. I feel that 3-D printing will take over the manufacturing process of many industries (more than now) down the line. Kind of like CNC machines are so useful for many luthiers and give such great results (if you know how to use/program them).
     
  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Probably better off machining solid metal to shape.

    BUT you could probably cast metal parts by first 3d printing them and then using a "lost form" (or whatever it's called) casting style on it.
     
  13. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    323
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Lost PLA casting, and I was thinking about that yesterday but decided not to post. There's also resin printers that can print in a castable resin, similar process to lost PLA.

    Again though, the amount of effort put in versus just cutting a nut from a blank isn't really worth it. That's why pre-made nuts are typically injection molded instead.
     
    BlackMastodon likes this.
  14. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    1,473
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Strandberg use 3D printed nuts. Not sure if it comes on the guitars as new, but they sell printed replacements on their site.
     
    BlackMastodon likes this.
  15. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fwiw I plan on milling a nut on my cnc machine for my next build. Seems like the best choice since nuts are roughly rectangular anyway.
     
  16. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    323
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The ones I see on their site are injection molded, it's the only way to get that matte texture on all sides, would guess Graphtech is the OEM for them. Looks like they experimented with 3d printed nuts in the past, but didn't have good success.
     
    StevenC likes this.
  17. Soya

    Soya Poor person

    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    661
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Location:
    Illinois
    They also experimented with ebony nuts on the OS line in the past, which also was unsuccessful since mine broke in less than a week.
     
    ElysianGuitars likes this.
  18. Kornfann1024

    Kornfann1024 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    jersey
    You could start 3d printing 12 gauge shell knobs‍♂️ ill be a customer
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.