UK indie rock band Klaxons made a tongue-in-cheek announcement last June that its next tourwould be a ‘3D printed tour’, with everything seen on stage including guitars, amps and lights, created using 3D printing technology.
The tour began on 25 October in Leeds, and saw individual, customised 3D printed guitars in front of the crowds.
Customuse, set up by University of Sheffield graduates Mahdi Hosseini, Sophie Findlay and Justas Cernas , designed and printed a guitar with help from Professor Neil Hopkinson, who works at the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Advanced Additive Manufacturing and is also an electric bass guitar player.
Customuse showcased its 3D printed guitar concepts to potential investors and clients. Klaxons stumbled across it and selected the company to produce one-of-a-kind, custom lead and bass guitars for the band’s 3D printed tour, with each instrument personalised with the band’s own insignia.
“When Klaxons announced their tour would be 3D printed, they didn’t seem to really believe it could happen, but for guitars at least it’s a very achievable goal.
“3D printing is the ideal technology to create personalised instruments of this kind, as it allows you to have an intricate design with a lightweight body while retaining the necessary strength to ensure the guitar will work well,” explains Professor Hopkinson.
Cutomuse’s Hosseini adds, “When we set up Customuse just a few months ago, we never imagined two of our guitars would be on the road with a band like Klaxons so soon. But having a guitar made to your individual design isn’t just for rock stars. With 3D printing, amazing designs can be created while the price tag remains realistic.”
Of course the Klaxons didn’t want to have to compromise their sound for the sake of technology, but having played the guitars, they are very impressed. In fact, the bassist Jamie Reynolds said he was “absolutely blown away”.