Main Project Alternative – Capo

For my final project, I have decided to scale back my original idea and go for a more manageable artifact. I learned from the upcycle project not to use materials that you are unfamiliar with for purposes they are not built for, so I am going to 3D print my object. I want to pivot away from the table idea and instead make a capo for my guitar. A capo clips to a guitar and raises its tuning based on how far up the fretboard it is placed. It will be the first time I have 3d printed a spring mount, but I am familiar with 3D printing and PLA plastic. The artifact will also have a practical use as well so that’s a bonus.

Figure 1

I decided to take measurements of my guitar for the 3D model of the capo. It doesn’t matter too much because the shape of the capo doesn’t need to be specific, but I want to try to fit the shape to my needs as close as possible. I’m going to cover the area that hits the neck of the guitar with soft foam, and the area that covers the fret board with some leftover neoprene I have from a previous project. I’m also going to have a place to mount a 1/8″ spring between two plastic pieces with a 1/8″ pin going between them.


Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4 shows an early model I made of the capo in CAD. The general shape for the clip of the capo follows Figure 1, but the handle is something I wanted to prototype myself. The aesthetic that the shape represents is Renaissance because in Figure 5 I tried to make the capo more fancy and curvy. I made indents in the top piece to grip it easier, and I designed the handle with arches in mind. I was only practically able to fit a couple, but I also elongated the handle and made it curved as well. A capo has to be pretty simple to fit on a guitar, so I decided to be minimalistic with the aesthetic in the end.

Figure 4

Figure 5

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • I like the idea of 3D printing your own Capo. It’s probably not feasible for this project at the moment but checkout Veritasium’s vlog on flexible mechanisms,
    I believe a Capo fits perfectly for a product that can be designed using a flexible mechanism.

  • Hey Bryce,

    I have not touched a guitar since I used to take lessons in elementary school, but I will never forget how crucial it was to always have a quality capo in your case at all times. I really like that you are taking what you learned from the upcycling project and applying here, that shows a lot of growth. I think your design is clean and effective. The only thing that comes to mind is maybe being weary of the material you chose to 3D print with, some may not handle the stresses that a capo under goes as well as others but I’m sure you are already thinking about that.


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