Day by day we see great technological advances. 3D printing is one example of this, quickly making its way into a fairly competitive market. For this reason, an engineer from the Sandvik group designed an “indestructible” electric guitar, incorporating said additive construction technology, being a piece specially made for Yngwie Malmsteen.
The world of rock is fast-paced and unpredictable. Each artist has his own performance that makes him stand out on stage. Added to this, is the characteristic talent when playing each of the instruments of this genre and sub-genres. Guitarists are usually quite eccentric, some of them having a kind of ritual in each presentation, in which many destroy their guitar. It is a moment full of adrenaline both for them and for those who are in front of the stage.
This act carried out by some guitar heroes was used as a source of inspiration by Sandvik engineers, who decided to test a new technology that promises to keep the guitar in one piece after being struck on the ground or against any object.
A previously seen electric guitar?
Sandvik is an industry that, despite its long history, studies the different ways of expansion every day, in order to stay current in the market. In this sense, additive manufacturing is the next goal of the company. This is quite a promising technology, converting 3D files into a manufactured object through a layer-by-layer addition process. This technique can be carried out on different materials, such as polymer, resin, metal, paper and many others, receiving the name of additive manufacturing or more commonly called 3D printing.
It is important to mention that this type of procedure is currently considered the future for the different industrialized sectors, so the Sandvik work team got down to work and decided to demonstrate the efficiency of this technology. It is from this need that the idea of creating a completely “indestructible” electric guitar arises. Inspiration? Heavy metal guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen who enjoy smashing their instrument to the floor during every performance.
For the realization of this “indestructible” electric guitar , the Sandvik working group carried out several tests to first determine which were the most vulnerable points on the instrument when it was impacted against a surface.
It is important to comment that the engineer in charge of the design used the software used by the major manufacturers in the automotive world, in order to measure the level of resistance to different types of impacts. In this way, he determined that the most susceptible area was the joint between the body of the guitar and the neck. In this sense, the most viable solution was to design the structure in a single piece.
Regarding the materials used, two metals with great properties were used, such as titanium, a low-density chemical element and a marked resistance to corrosion and impacts. On the other hand, the steel that gives it hardness stands out, being an alloy of carbon particles with iron.
What is really new is the construction, which as we have already mentioned is by means of a 3D printing technique, which integrates several layers of titanium powder, as well as a special design of grids.
The results were as expected, after an arduous design and manufacturing process carried out by Andy Holt with his team. The creation of an “indestructible” electric guitar was no longer a simple metaphor. But, there was still one last test left. And it is that the guitar should pass through the hands of Yngwie Malmsteen.
If you search among the great guitarists of the rock world, you will find the name of Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback, better known as Yngwie Malmsteen. The Swedish-born guitarist was born on June 30, 1963 and is considered a virtuoso on the six-string instrument, standing out in genres such as heavy metal, power metal, neoclassical metal and shred metal. A peculiarity of Malmsteen is that after each presentation he used to literally destroy his guitar, hitting it against the stage.
Could this guitar support it? The legendary guitarist claims to have been excited by such a challenge proposed by the Sandvik house, since since he saw Jimmy Hendrix on stage destroy an electric guitar, the image was etched in his head, later becoming a true fetish, a ritual that executes after the completion of each of his presentations.
The big day arrived. Sandvik’s “indestructible” guitar was in the hands of Malmsteen, who did everything he could to destroy the body of the instrument. Many were the impacts it caused against the different amplifiers and even against the floor of the stage.
Malmsteen’s disappointed face was swift, while his euphoric fans clamored for the destruction of the guitar. Finally, he picked up the “indestructible” and played with her again. The neck was in place and the guitar made a shrill sound that made the crowd vibrate.
The guitarist in an interview said he tried twice as hard, but it was impossible to break it. “I felt like I came out of a boxing ring after 12 rounds … At least I can break other things with her.”
The task was fulfilled, demonstrating in this way that the applied technique is completely effective in building what could well be the best electric guitar .
Sandvik is a company of Swedish origin with 157 years of experience in the world of mining, manufacturing of construction tools and machining. Its foundation dates back to 1862 by the hand of Goran Fredrik Göransson, who forged a small empire with projection in 130 countries, providing employment to an average of 42,000 people. In addition, it is noteworthy that this is a company that has an annual sales closing that stands at 100,000 Swedish crowns.