SHAPE Machining, Supernatural-X collaborate on composite electric guitar
Made from reclaimed carbon fiber, the lightweight guitar possesses excellent tuning stability, and zero RF interference.
Pick-ups to be placed into the guitars. Photo Credit: SHAPE Machining
SHAPE Machining Ltd. (Witney, U.K.) is working with carbon fiber composite manufacturer, Supernatural-X Ltd. (West Sussex, U.K.), to develop a composite electric guitar, made from reclaimed carbon fiber.
“We are delighted to be working with Supernatural-X to create an electric guitar like no other on the market,” says Ryan Muller, managing director of SHAPE. “The guitar will be made from reclaimed off-cuts during the kitting process of traditionally-made carbon fiber prepreg parts and machined by SHAPE. We are excited to use our automotive and motorsport expertise to branch out and machine carbon fiber for other applications. Typically the off-cuts from the kitting process would be scrapped and sent to the landfill.”
SHAPE says it will design and manufacture the vacuum CNC jigs followed by the machining of the body itself. Supernatural-X is supplying the body and will lacquer the guitar.
According to Muller, “making an electric guitar in carbon fiber has many advantages, including tuning stability, the ability to make the body lightweight, resistance to changes in heat and humidity and many more. The material itself also allows for zero RF interference, meaning the guitar has virtually zero self-noise.”
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.
Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.