travel electric guitar with ukulele body and 3D printed parts can be packed in hand luggage

travel electric guitar with ukulele body and 3D printed parts can be packed in hand luggage

Musical instrument machined from a single piece of ash wood

 
Lance Rake, a professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, designed the Electric Guitalele, his iteration of a 3D-printed travel electric guitar with a ukulele body machined from a single piece of ash. A set of technologies helped him build the electric guitar ukulele. He first used VR to design the instrument and refined it in a parametric solid modeling program. The results are divided into two parts: the body and neck, which were machined from a single piece of ash wood, and the top, which was 3D-printed for the electronics. The final touch was the size.

 

Lance Rake imagined it to be portable, and the outcome could allow players to pack the musical instrument in their hand-carry luggage, so they could bring it anywhere with them when they travel. Lance Rake usually employs a mix of materials to create his custom-made instruments and bikes, from woven bamboo to carbon fiber. While the use of these two materials may be absent in the recent electric guitar ukulele, it is still lightweight given its single-material body and 3D-printed parts, which display its natural grain, finished with a printed texture for the plastic top.

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
single coil pickup mounted under 3D printed top | images courtesy of Lance Rake

 

 

Travel electric guitar with ukulele body and 3D-printed parts

 

The electric guitar ukulele with 3D-printed parts isn’t the first model of the instrument for professor and designer Lance Rake. His first attempt dates back to 2022, featuring a 20-inch headless, small travel acoustic guitar with a redwood soundboard. While it was fun to play, the sound came out thin. He pursued the idea of a compact instrument with the scale length of a Tenor Ukulele but with 6 strings tuned like a guitar.

 

In his class ‘Electric Guitar Workshop’, a digital fabrication workshop he teaches every year, he decided to build and upgrade this travel guitar ukulele; this time, with a pickup to improve the sounds. The Electric Guitalele may appeal to frequent travelers and guitar players who are looking for a compact and lightweight string instrument to play. Its six strings are tuned to reverberate guitar sounds, while its ash body allows players to take it with them anywhere.

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
views of the redesigned electric version, with a 3D-printed top and a three-color shade lacquer finish

 

 

rechargeable mini amplifier for electric guitar ukulele

 

Building the electric guitar ukulele with 3D-printed parts didn’t come easy for Lance Rake, who shared that the ash he chose at the beginning had been infested by the Emerald ash borer, a type of insect that feeds on wood. But after a close inspection, the professor and designer went ahead with his material since he established that the tunnels the insect bore into were mostly located in areas that would not structurally weaken the instrument. In fact, they seemed to make the overall look more organic, alongside the natural grain of the ash wood. 

 

To further amp up its features, the professor and designer added a rechargeable, sandwich-sized mini amplifier to the current electric guitar ukulele with 3D-printed parts, so that the users can play it through their headphones. They can also use the amplifier if they want to play it with other people, making the piece of woodwork a versatile, compact musical instrument. As of publishing the story, the Electric Guitalele is the second iteration to come out of the ongoing series of Travel Guitalele.

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
ash was chosen for the main body

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
the input jack is located in the middle of the back, and the Steinberger tuners are quick and easy to adjust

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
Lance Rake located the tuners on the body and 3D printed a ‘turnaround’ to redirect the strings

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
headless design shortens the overall length and pushes the location of tuners to the body

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
every part of the neck was carefully examined to determine if the borer’s work compromised strength

travel-electric-guitar-ukulele-guitalele-3D-printed-lance-rake-designboom-ban

bottom part view

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
the first version of the Travel Guitalele was acoustic

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
first-generation acoustic travel guitalele where the tuners are from gearless Steinberger guitar models

lance rake electric guitar ukulele 3D-printed
the top of the original acoustic version is redwood

travel-electric-guitar-ukulele-guitalele-3D-printed-lance-rake-designboom-ban2

rear view of the electric guiatr ukulele with 3D-printed parts

project info:

 

name: Electric Guitalele

designer: Lance Rake

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: matthew burgos | designboom

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