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3d Printed Rickenbacker 4003 Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gojira72, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    For some reason, I had imagined the whole bass being printed in one piece.
  2. Gojira72


    Oct 18, 2018
    That would be one expensive printer to be able to do that.
    Gaolee, gumtown and Dr_Feelgoood212 like this.
  3. JesterJoker010


    Nov 4, 2018
    I honestly doubt it will work well enough to function properly.
    Mainly concerned about the strength of the construction, even with the planned steel and carbon rod reinforcements.

    Non the less I really do hope that you prove me wrong and that it will work for you, cause it is a really interesting experiment and a great idea.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018 at 3:14 PM
    Dr_Feelgoood212 likes this.
  4. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Thanks for that, I guess? I don't think I ever compared them directly by pointing out similarities in the two projects. I said this idea probably sounded ridiculous too, until it happened. However, to say that it's not a similar project on any scale is just silly. Is it 3D printing? No. Is it creating an instrument using very unconventional methods and materials? Yes. So let's not act like the video is out of place.

    I'm guessing you didn't watch the video at all, though, because they didn't "slap a fully-functional wooden neck" on anything. They show you the neck materials in the first minute of the video. Same as the body. You're correct on electronics, hardware, etc., but I can't really imagine what you'd expect them to use in place of that considering they're making an electric guitar out of cardboard. I mean, if you want to just be asinine, yeah, you could comment on their video and say "Shame on you! That ground wire isn't made out of cardboard!"

    OP doesn't want to print a whole bass at this point. He already did. Now since the neck seems to be your concern, he also doesn't plan on the printed neck or body alone withstanding the torque of strings. He never did and even mentions in the original post about inserting carbon rods in to the neck slots, and using additional threaded steel rods in the body.

    I'm no luthier so I can't say whether it's going to work or not. I'm certainly not going to be a naysayer based on my (lack of) knowledge of luthiery, because that's equally as ridiculous as guaranteeing positive results.

    I don't think you're the only based on the amount of nay-saying early on.
    bdgotoh and HaphAsSard like this.
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    That’s pretty cool, nice job on the pieces. You are going to be relying heavily on the strength of the adhsives used to stitch that neck together, epoxy? Some kind of hot solvent plastic glue? With a reasonable neck depth, you might get something like two 1/4” x 3/8” CF rods into the neck, most truss rods are about the same dimension, but it has to move freely to work, so the CF rods and adhesive will be doing all the work. This IS the future of manufacturing, props to you for trying it. If may not be playable, but that’s true of many first attempts in wood too. It’s only a question of time, and not much of it, until we start seeing guitars mass produced this way, though probably as two major assemblies of neck and body, Good luck!!
  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Very cool project Gojira!
    Looking forward to seeing this come together.
    GBBSbassist likes this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It had been a while since I had seen it. I forgot about the neck.

    So, I guess what you're saying is that all the finest luthiers and engineers up until now with all of their knowledge, experience and backing money have NOT been able to print an entire bass that can handle string tension..... but..... (inhales).....

    We should encourage a kid with a freebie printer, zero knowledge and experience and no money (by the way, if you recall the very reason he's even trying it is that he can't afford a real Ric) to just cast aside all reason and logic and just go for it?????

    I'm all for stretching boundaries. I'm all for pushing limits. But I'm NOT all for telling a kid to go ahead a build a moon rocket using pine lumber.

    He had neither the skills, materials, equipment or monet for proper materials. Several experts in this thread have told him that a printer coating less than six figures likely won't have a bed big enough for a bass body. They have also told him that a neck made from current technology and mateirals is impossible. One of them runs a 3D printing design company.

    So, better advice for the kid would be recommending other basses that are more affordable and are possibly similar to a Ric.

    Printing one is something that will end badly (if it ever even gets off the ground at all) and likely waste time and money..... thus POSTPONING his acquiring a bass guitar.

    Shoot for the moon should come with at least a MODICUM of realism.
    Craig4003 likes this.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Right. :thumbsup:

    GBBSbassist and Runnerman like this.
  9. Gojira72


    Oct 18, 2018
    Dude, Im just learning on the job, I am expecting failure, but Im hopping for the best.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Then why was your original stated goal to wind up with a Ric-style bass for less money than it would cost to buy and actual bass?

    You can't have it both ways.

    Either your goal was to waste some expensive goo in a machine you don't know how to use in the name of science and adventure only to wind up with (likely) a third of a useless bass body..... "but it'll be fun'.... and make for a nice paperweight....

    Or your goal is to wind up with a usable bass that costs less than your favorite real bass that you can't afford (which..... call me crazy...... is what you actually stated).

    Which is it?
  11. Heck yes we should.

    Keep it up, Gojira. It looks awesome so far.
  12. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I stopped reading right after that.

    Yes, we absolutely should. Give me one good reason why you wouldn't encourage creativity and ingenuity.
    BassHappy, Jim C, Cal68 and 3 others like this.
  13. In fairness he didn't actually say that, not really. He didn't say "I'm going to make a working bass for less than a real one." He just has the stuff to play with and wants to see what happens. Why not. What the hell. It almost certainly won't "work" but he'll learn plenty about the process, and structural design etc.
    BassHappy and HaphAsSard like this.
  14. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Ok, so I read a bit more.

    Are you sure you're all for it? It sounds like you're not because you're telling someone, probably hundreds of miles from you who, that you'll never ever meet in your daily life, and who will have no effect on your life whatsoever, that they shouldn't embark on a project because there's a chance of failure, even though you yourself know absolutely nothing about what they're trying to do.

    Sounds like you're for the opposite of boundary stretching. Sounds like you're just being a sourpuss.

    Ya know, I was going to build a table this summer as a project even though I have zero experience woodworking. I should probably not waste my time or money because it won't turn out perfect, right?

    Skills? I'd check that one off since he managed to 3D model the bass, and print it in segments. The materials and equipment are an obvious check.

    The experts were right about not being able to print the body in one go, but that was a completely pointless statement from the get-go. Anyone who has done even a moderate amount of 3D printing at home knows that already and is familiar with printing in segments. OP obviously figured that out just fine on his own. Perhaps an expert could have offered him that suggestion. Oh wait! He did...

    What makes that advice better? Care to explain?

    Oh no, someone's home project didn't turn out how they hoped on their VERY FIRST GO! That's never happened to me or anyone else I've ever known before in my entire life. Luckily for us humans, we have the ability to solve problems. Try something and it doesn't work, we analyze why it didn't work, then we figure out how to prevent that problem. Sometimes there's a point where we decide it's not possible to prevent said problem, and guess what some of us do then, we go back to the drawing board and form a new plan.

    Holy crap, I would dread living in a world where everyone is as negative as you.
  15. Gojira72


    Oct 18, 2018
    Gaolee likes this.
  16. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Once the financial aspect was clarified (which didn't stop a number of posters from insisting on it), the naysaying has had less to do with the merit of the endeavour than with a mixture of "how dare you reinvent the wheel" and an undercurrent of "how dare you copy the One that Shan't Be Copied". The Rickentruppen and their kindred spirits are always sensitive to lèse-majesté, and a situation in which the perp cannot in any way be accused of either putting a counterfeit in the wild that may sometime fool someone, nor taking the bread out of RIC workers' mouths... well, it must be frustrating for them. IMO, YMMV, etc.
    Axstar likes this.
  17. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy Supporting Member

    This is absolutely fantastic!
  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I think the law is pretty clear that making a one-off copy for personal use is totally legit, selling it wouldn’t be. Disseminating the 3D printer files might get dicey too, not clear on that one. With hordes of Chickenbackers pouring into the US, I would think Ric corporate has bigger fish to fry. A number of TB builders (including me) have built Ric clones or Ric inspired, no C&D letters yet. It’s a cool experiment with some tough limitations that may not result in a playable instrument, but that’s not an atypical outcome for a lot of first time builds in wood, as many on TB Luthiers Corner can attest to. Stitching together neck segments is going to be a big challenge, but the OP is willing to try it. I have no idea if it will work, I commend him for trying.
    GBBSbassist likes this.
  19. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy Supporting Member

    Everything made of wood relies on adhesives to some extent, whether those adhesives are epoxies, wood glues, or something else. Nails, for example, in a house made of wood. OK, not adhesives, but you get the idea. You don't weld wood. The fact is that a properly prepared and clamped wood glue joint is probably stronger than the adjacent wood. I don't see why his joints won't be as strong or stronger than the joined materials. If anything, that's a good way to think about how to make the neck - print it in longitudinal sections and glue it up like a structural beam. That would probably be pretty straight forward to do, and could be plenty strong if it was reinforced right.

    I'm learning something just by reading and thinking about this project! It's a raging success already from my standpoint. If it results in a playable bass guitar, it's outstanding.

    I remember a thread about building a Thunderbird Pro IV into a 12 string bass. The naysayers came out of every corner on that one, and the project turned out great. This may well be the same.
  20. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Longitudinal sections would be strong as hell, but that would require a 3D printer bed long enough to do the whole neck beam, which the OP doesn’t have. Having learned the software, that’s just a problem of access to a bigger machine. He has a bunch of short segments with multiple small glue joints. The glue probably will be stronger than the segments, but that doesn’t mean each segment itself won’t fail right next to the joint. Full length CF rods might be enough to weld all the segments together, that’s a lot of glue area. Really curious to see how this works out. Even if it fails, the OP will have learned s lot. Ned Steinberger went through many prototypes before he figured out CF neck construction.
    Gaolee likes this.

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