Fender is one of the world’s most iconic brands in music. Making everything from legendary guitars to state-of-the-art amplifiers, Fender has a long history of innovation and excellence.
Seven years ago, Fender decided to use 3D printing to dramatically change the way they manufactured their parts and products. They were looking for a faster, less expensive way to design, prototype, and make production-quality components that would be good enough for the end user – good enough to satisfy the strict standard of quality the Fender name represents.
Working with Stratasys, Fender made its first 3D printing purchase – an Objet350 Connex3 capable of printing as many as 14 materials at the same time in the process of making a complex product. They wanted a 3D printer that was easy to use, dependable, and capable of great detail. The Objet350 Connex3 satisfied the company, so they selected that particular model and went to work.
One initial task: prototype new designs before having to invest in expensive tooling. Working with Stratasys, Fender was actually able to create 3D-printed versions of products like amplifiers, place electronics in them, and turn them on to test them – thereby saving time and money by building a fully-functional prototype.
“I feel the value for 3D printing for our company is to our customer,” said Shawn Greene, a Master Builder at Fender. “They’re going to get the best possible products that they can have. And by using 3D printing, we’re able to work out any problems, any design issues, long before the customer even touches it.”
Added Green, “It’s the best possible product a customer can get.”
One product in particular – the Passport studio monitor system – normally would have taken well over a year to produce. The 3D printer from Stratasys was able to dramatically shorten that process, enabling a faster time-to-market timeline.
Check out the video below from Stratasys detailing the relationship with Fender and the great things 3D printing was able to do for this iconic brand.