The Challenges of 3D Printing a Functional Electric Guitar

I was approached by one of our coworkers, Wayne, about designing an electric guitar body. Wayne specifically requested for the guitar to have a certain design to allow LED lighting within the body. Wayne is a big rocker, he played in a band called Exodus.

Together we came up with the honeycomb concept. I got to work in SolidWorks and eventually had a STL file created of the model.


There were minor tweaks for the hole spacing but eventually I got it right.

Next was the set up in Simplify3D to slice the part. I printed the part on a .6mm diameter nozzle. Some of the notable settings that I used for the print were a .3mm layer height, infill at 10%, nine top and bottom solid layers and three outline/perimeter shells. The biggest issue that I had to change in the slice is the top solid layers. Not having enough made the face of the guitar very rough looking. Eventually I got it right.


The material we decided to go with is 3DP’s PLA Natural transparent, to help absorb and show off the LED lighting that Wayne plans to install into the guitar. The printers bed was set to a 70°C , nozzle temp was set to 200°C.

Wayne pieced together one of the first initial prints and it’s this the end result. He is currently working on the LED lit model.


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Click here to download the .stl file.

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