Electric guitar

Meet the Minicorda, a 19-inch nylon string acoustic electric guitar that fits in a suitcase

And now something completely different – the Minicorda, a nylon cord travel guitar which is only 19 inches long and can fit in your suitcase, and is stage ready with on-board Fishman electronics.

The Minicorda was designed by two guitarist friends, Augusto Filocamo and Diego Spina, who wanted to design a one-piece guitar that was playable right out of the box, yet small enough to fit in the back of a backpack or suitcase.

Filocamo and Spina live some 600 miles from each other, so their collaboration took shape remotely via a video link and sending each other 3D printed prototypes in the mail.

When it comes to acoustic electric guitars, the Minicorda is pretty radical. He has no body. To generate a sound comparable to that of a full-size classical nylon string guitar, the Minicorda has a hollow neck design. Filocamo says they simply used the principles of acoustic guitar resonance and applied them in a new context.

“We’ve learned that the guitar moves air in contact with resonant surfaces,” says Filocamo. “We just increased the size of the surfaces exposed to the air. The neck of a 19 inch guitar is the guitar itself. So making it hollow was the answer.

Making a 19-inch handle that was both resonant and durable was less obvious, but using computer-aided design and 3D printing with synthetic materials, Filocamo and Spino were able to quickly produce prototypes and test their designs.

Minicorda travel guitar

(Image credit: Minicorda)

“We were able to test many ideas before building it,” explains Filocamo. “On a regular luthier build process, each prototype will take a month. We did it in a few hours.

The project was not without challenges. First of all, they had to find a material strong enough but flexible enough to be able to withstand the tension exerted by the strings carried to the tuning fork.

Second, the strings had to work with the body design, and therefore the Minicorda comes with ordinary nylon guitar strings shifted down only one position, so an ordinary 1st string is used as the second of the Minicorda, and and so on.

Filocamo and Spino 3D printed some 25 prototypes to test how minor differences affected the guitar, with the finished Minicorda being version five, and you can order one now for $ 270. See Minicorda for more details.