Sandvik stages charity auction for smash-proof, all-metal, 3D printed guitar

by Steed Webzell

From manufacturing engineers and 3D printing specialists, to hardcore heavy-metal fans and those who were enticed by the premise of destruction, millions of people have watched guitar virtuoso, Yngwie Malmsteen, attempt to destroy Sandvik’s unsmashable guitar. Now, the global engineering company is auctioning off the creation to raise money for charity.

Recently, Sandvik presented the world’s first 3D printed smash-proof guitar. In a short film, Swedish-born guitar virtuoso and notorious guitar smasher Malmsteen was challenged to destroy the unique, all-metal, 3D printed guitar during a live show in Miami.

Since the project was launched on 9 April, the guitar has evoked massive global interest, resulting in hundreds of articles and millions of views.

Now, Sandvik says that the one-of-a-kind guitar, played and signed by Malmsteen, will be auctioned to raise funds for charity organisation ‘Engineers Without Borders Sweden’. The auction will run at online music marketplace, Reverb, from until 12 May. To learn more about the auction or place a bid, click here.

The unusual project started with the notion that rock stars have been smashing guitars on stage for decades. Sandvik decided to test its technologies by building the world’s first 3D printed, all-metal, smash-proof guitar and letting Malmsteen unleash his destruction skills on it.

During the unsuccessful smash attempt in Miami, the guitar only suffered a few scratches. So, after being signed by Malmsteen, the guitar headed back to Sandvik’s hometown of Sandviken, Sweden.

"This guitar is a beast; Sandvik have obviously put the work in; they do their hours and I can relate to that," says Malmsteen. "The result is amazing. I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to smash."

In the project, Sandvik gathered experts from across the company to demonstrate how they could use sustainable techniques to make something that is both precise and durable. Sandvik engineers teamed up with guitar designer Andy Holt, of Drewman Guitars, to match Malmsteen's musical standards and fast playing style.

For the guitar's 3D-printed body, Sandvik relied on its expertise in metal powder and additive manufacturing. Lasers traced a design in beds of fine titanium powder, fusing layers of material one on top of the other. The guitar's neck and fretboard were machined from a solid block of recycled stainless steel. To strengthen the fret and neck as they extend into the guitar's body, a super-light lattice structure was deployed.

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