German-based guitar maker Nik Huber Guitars has partnered with amorphous metal expert Heraeus AMLOY to install a 3D printed bridge made of amorphous metal on its guitar. Nik Huber Guitar wanted to try a material to develop its guitar to improve its sound characteristics. Amorphous metals that maintain glass-like atomic structural properties are particularly elastic and can effectively transmit vibrations.
As a result, this material provides a set of characteristics suitable for guitar manufacturing, and the industry rarely tries to use different materials. Nik Huber, founder and CEO of Nik Huber Guitars, said: "3D printed amorphous metals are a type of Due to its unique properties, it is expected to become a material for guitar manufacturing. "" Especially in our conservative guitar market, there is room for further development, while new materials and technologies are also being provided. "
Heraeus AMLOY was founded in 1996 and Nik Huber has been making handmade guitars for 24 years. Today, Nik Huber and his team produce about 240 instruments each year. To innovate on guitar and sound quality, the company is willing to use new materials such as special wood or metal. Therefore, it sought the services of Heraeus AMLOY, a company that 3D printed amorphous bridges. Heraeus AMLOY is the amorphous metals division of Heraeus, a German technology group specializing in precious metals.
Founded in 1851, Heraeus is now involved in environmental, energy, electronics, health, transportation and industrial applications. The company has been working on the development of 3D printed amorphous metals since 2016, first incorporating the material into its 3D printed metal product portfolio. In April 2019, Heraeus claimed that it had used additive manufacturing technology to make "the largest amorphous metal part."
What is an amorphous metal? Amorphous metals are formed by rapid cooling of molten metal. The cooling rate is too fast to allow the atoms of the material to form a crystal structure. Instead, the atoms solidify in an amorphous, disorderly manner, locking the metal in an amorphous glassy state. Most metals are in solid crystals, which means they have a highly ordered arrangement of atoms. Amorphous metals also have scratch and corrosion resistance and are highly biocompatible.
The properties of amorphous metals have huge potential applications in metal 3D printing. For example, NASA has explored the benefits of using this material in spacecraft while exploring harsh environments. Tobias Caspari, Heraeus' senior vice president of additive manufacturing, previously highlighted potential uses, "Amorphous metals will change our future. They have a number of previously incompatible properties: they are very strong and malleable, and they have Higher strength and stronger corrosion resistance. "Jürgen Wachter, Head of Heraeus AMLOY, 3D printed amorphous bridge, explained that amorphous metals" are very suitable for stringed instruments like guitars. "In explaining why, Wachter states: "As amorphous metals are much more resilient than crystalline materials, they can transmit vibrations well." Other benefits of guitar manufacturing include the scratch and corrosion resistance of metals, preventing bridge wear and the need for eventual replacement .
Due to the design freedom brought by 3D printing, bridges do not have the traditionally sturdy structure like most bridges. Instead, it has an internal honeycomb structure, which has a significant impact on the vibration period of the bridge, as it has less attenuation of vibration than a closed solid structure. Therefore, this can have a significant impact on sound properties. "People can also mimic the sound of other metals by changing the structure inside the bridge," Jürgen Wachter added. "A bridge made of amorphous metal sounds like a bridge made of brass. The difference is that because of its elasticity, it keeps the sound longer and does not wear out, even after years Still looks new. "