We asked Olaf how the Americana came about - he is usually based in New Zealand and is a Professor of Mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland. The new guitar design was sparked off when Olaf’s wife won an art award which meant a six month residency in New York.
It was my first visit and the city blew me away. It is so alive, so dynamic. I was surprised at how proud people were to be American. I don’t feel like that about home as I moved around a lot.
I was so inspired, I would walk around a lot and I’d draw buildings each evening.
Olaf has been designing his 3D printed guitars for some time now. This is his most detailed yet, and features the Statue of Liberty and landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Freedom Tower, Staten Island Ferry, Yankee Stadium, St Patricks Cathedral, and the Love sculpture by artist Robert Indiana.
The more intricate the better I think, otherwise why bother!
Although the detail is incredible, the model is now a standard production model in the 3D Systems line of Olaf designed guitars. The bodies are printed, using Selective Laser Sintering, by 3D Systems in the USA, using a very strong form of nylon. The guitars feature a wooden inner core (choices of Mahogany or Maple, etc.) that links the neck to the bridge, and means the sustain and tone of the instrument can be customised to suit the musician.
I want to do more cities - London, Paris, and also a California model.
We asked him about the TV Jones pickups on the guitar - Olaf is a keen player himself, so we knew there must be a special reason for choosing them.
They are used on a lot of guitars played by great rockabilly artists, so for the Americana model they felt the most appropriate. It’s been the most photographed thing at The NAMM Show I think!
For more on new designs, check out the in-depth interview we did with Olaf Diegel about his 3D Printed instruments.