what if you could design any electric guitar

*str is a multi-platform mobile App that was developed for designing super-custom electric guitars interactively.

Electric guitars are very intricate instruments, and while the knowledge and technology behind them has in recent years expanded greatly, guitar manufacturers can only offer a specific and limited set of options for their products. The intention of *str is to offer musicians an interface that allows them to control and inspect all possible functional parameters of their instrument on their mobile device, by keeping the limitations from zero to none, and eventually offer them the capability of ordering their specific design for fabrication. The *str app features a 3D environment with a comprehensive graphical user interface where users can edit and observe their designs in real-time and furthermore view their instruments using its Augmented Reality capabilities.

The project is under finalisation, and is planned to be released as a mobile app later this year.
studio any is looking for business partners in order to release the App for free.

*str can design guitars with:

  • any number of strings
  • any string scale length (also variable scale length)
  • any number of frets
  • custom fret-fanning angle
  • custom compound fretboard radii
  • custom fret wire and fret material
  • custom neck profile type, thickness and a/symmetry
  • custom string spacing at nut and bridge
  • custom timber selection for each guitar part
  • custom pickup types, placement and angle

It can furthermore:

  • calculate and suggest an optimal string set for the designed instrument based on desired tuning and tension
  • generate a spec lists for all of the design parameters
  • generate an augmented reality model which can be used to interactively view the design from all angles

What it can’t do:

  • foresee the musical quality of the intended design
  • assure that the designed instrument could be built by a common custom shop or wood workshop

The *Str app runs on both iOS and Android devices.

All calculations are done in millimetres with a precision of 4 decimal digits.

Timeline
*str started as an experimental proof of concept project at CAAD ETHz in early 2014, with the intention of proving that an intricate design, like the one of an electric guitar, could be digitally automated from the design to the fabrication stage. Starting from a small Java program, the project expanded to a mobile application with an extended set of functionalities. The project was halted briefly in mid 2014 for the development of “project Anywhere“, but resumed in early 2015, and after months of intense development it reached its current state.

In the paradigm of Industry 4.0, studio any intends to use *str in order to design an electric guitar on a mobile device, and fabricate it with an industrial robot.

 

Zurich, Cyprus, Graz / 2014-