If weird guitars are your game, forget mahogany, alder and maple: 3D-printed guitars are the future of ambitious axe design, and they're here to stay.
We've scoured the globe to bring you 13 of the most intricate, awe-inspiring designs; they're not cheap, but in some cases you can download the specs and – providing you have the requisite equipment (we don't, sadly) – you can print them yourselves.
ODD Guitars Americana
We could fill this gallery entirely with ODD Guitars man Olaf Diegel's off-the-wall creations, but the Americana is perhaps the most detailed of his efforts.
A Duraform nylon-like body is complemented by a wooden inner core (with a choice of wood), which links the Warmoth maple neck to the bridge for customisable sustain and tone.
Most impressive are the replicas of New York landmarks hidden inside the guitar – everything from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty and the Yankee Stadium are crammed into the body. Take a closer look below.
ODD Guitars Atom
More ODD Guitar action: the Atom's body is “inspired by the patterns of oil coalescing on water”, while it also features an internal atom with spinning electrons.
Again, Duraform PA provides the bulk of the body, while a wooden inner core adds sustain and tone. Seymour Duncan Jazz SH-2 (neck) and JB SH-4 (bridge) fill the pickup cavities.
Shortly after Customuse's inception in 2014, Klaxons began playing their guitars live – a real testament to the quality of these University of Sheffield graduates' designs.
The RodeoMuse rather boldly claims to be “the ultimate country and blues guitar”, with an oak leaf pattern and 3D-printed wagon-wheel volume and tone knobs really hammering the point home.
Buyers do get a choice of centre block tone wood, while a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro 2 pickups are the finishing touch.
A fine example of the kind of eye-popping designs 3D printing makes a reality, the NecroMuse is a terrifying creation, boasting an intricate rib cage, rippling spine and grinning skulls, all made out of a durable polymer.
Like other Customuse designs, a wooden centre block retains sustain and resonance, and there's a choice of Seymour Duncan pickups, but best of all, the guitar's output jack is actually one of the skull's eye sockets – ouch.
Francesco Orrù Lovecraft-inspired guitar
This Italian 3D artist living in London has a wealth of incredible 3D-printed designs to his name, and this bonkers example pays homage to the artwork of HP Lovecraft.
ZBrush software provided the basis for the design element, based on Lovecraft's Godfish and Necronomicon works, then the guitar was 3D printed in eight different parts over 80 hours using a Delta Wasp 3D printer. Phewph.
Animal 4theswarm guitar
Yes, it's Francesco Orrù again, this time with a stunning guitar depicting a lion, eagle and shark.
It doesn't look like this one ever got completed with the requisite neck, pickups and hardware, but you can download the template and print and finish one yourself.
3D Printing Solutions Guitar Project
Designed and printed in four parts on the UP Box 3D Printer, this instrument from Australia's 3D Printing Solutions combines a Telecaster-like look with a cool playing card suite motif.
A maple neck and mahogany body keep traditional guitar credentials in check, but this 3D innovation is so designed that you can change to different 3D printed bodies in under 45 minutes.
3FM Serious Request guitar
Right, bit of a weird story behind this beauty, which starts thusly: Dutch radio station 3FM Serious Request raises money for charity by locking three of its DJs up for six days a year, forcing them to live on a juice-only diet.
In 2014, Dutch company ASSEMBL3D (see what they did there?) and guitar builder Eugen Wulff bolstered funds by creating a 3D-printed guitar, which made references to the city of Haarlem, the site of that year's DJ lock-up.
The resulting guitar encompassed references to architecture, painters and Serious Request, and impressed a number of famous Dutch artists (so we're told) – watch Arnold van Dongen strut his stuff below.
The whole process took 76 hours, including the classy rust finish, but it was worth it, as the final instrument sold for €5,750, which went to female victims of war and sexual violence.
Scott Summit 3D-printed acoustic
With the help of 3D Systems, 3D artist Scott Summit produced this awe-inspiring matt black strummer.
Printed using a fine nylon powder, Summit's guitar utilised a whopping $3,000 worth of plastics – so, it's certainly not a cheap option for designing your own guitar – but as sceptical as most guitarists are of a non-wood instrument, Summit claims, “It’s rich and full and has a great tonal range.”
Back in 2012, Summit and 3D Systems were looking to advance the production of this one, but we haven't heard anything since.
Widows Web 3D Printed Guitar
Looks like this body had a chance encounter with a meteor shower, but Jessie Sasser's Widows Web design – recently showcased at CES 2016 – certainly encapsulates its title.
Built out of six different pieces printed on a Robo 3D R1 and assembled using LocTite plastic bonder, the Widows Web also features a Fender-style neck and electronics – we like the red strings, too.
Jessie details the build in the video below, and you can download the design from Thingiverse.
ODD Guitars Steampunk
While the shape is total Telecaster, the Steampunk's design and execution is pure Wild Wild West: and yes, all those cogs actually move!
Ignoring the incredible airbrushed paint job, the most impressive part of this guitar is that the whole lot – cogs 'n' all – is printed as a single component.
A maple core gives the guitar its tone and sustain, while DiMarzio Area-T and Fast Trick single coils offer a range of T-type tones – it's all printed using selective laser sintering (SLS) by 3D Systems, on an sPro 230 SLS machine out of Duraform (nylon) material.
Jeff Kerr 3D-printed acoustic
There's not a whole lot of info on this one out there, but this acoustic seems to have its own internal LED light, which accentuates the unusual internal bracing, itself used to support the thin exterior.
More impressive still is that not only did The Foundry's Jeff Kerr design and make the guitar, but he designed the printer that printed it, too. The man's some kind of genius – watch him jam on his creation below.
Shapespeare Fully Printed Electric Guitar
Now, while this isn't one of the most remarkable 3D-printed body designs, this, ahem, blue print from Thingiverse user Whitney Potter is notable for being entirely 3D printed – including the neck and fingerboard (but not the hardware, pickups, knobs and strings, natch).
Whitney notes that, “The first one printed plays, although not well, so this should be considered a work in progress and maker beware. I designed this as a 'could it be done' exercise more than anything.”
Carbon fibre reinforcement provides the neck with the stability to cope with the string tension, while the printed fingerboard includes printed slots for fretwire.
Don't hold your breath for an influx of 3D-printed necks in the future, though, as Whitney says, “At this point it is fairly pointless to print the neck as far superior stock guitar necks are available for less than the cost of the materials.”
You can download the design on Thingiverse.