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$2,508 pledged of $6,400 goal
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By Praxis Guitars
$2,508 pledged of $6,400 goal
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About

The Praxis Zero is a modular electric guitar that allows different elements to come together as a fully functional instrument. It was designed from the beginning to make custom guitars more affordable by reducing the instrument to the bare essentials of neck and frame.

With practice, you can turn anything into a guitar.
With practice, you can turn anything into a guitar.

The Praxis Zero was designed to be fabricated entirely on standard CNC machinery. These are common machines, and can be built out of scavenged printer parts.

This instrument features a modular metal frame. The innovative  frame/neck connection gives the guitar a unique tone. The adjustable tension neck joint simplifies alignment between the neck and body.

Praxis Zero Frame iteration p.0.Cx
Praxis Zero Frame iteration p.0.Cx

The Praxis Zero was the first musical instrument to feature cave scalloping as an option. Cave scalloping removes the wood underneath the strings between the frets, similar to traditional scalloping. Cave scalloping differs in that it keeps the material along the edge of the fretboard intact, so that the scallops cannot be felt from the edge.

With the frame and scalloped frets, the Mantis is a very sensitive instrument that allows for exceptional pitch control. String bends have less resistance on a scalloped instrument. This can be made as a very light and thin guitar, with finished instruments weighing as little as .5 kg (a skosh over a pound). Mass can be added to the frame to change the guitar's resonance.

 We are a real corporation.

Praxis Guitars is committed to the future. We aim to become a carbon negative manufacturing chain. We are also building a guitar database, which generates massive amounts of data for every instrument we make. The following Praxis Guitar was made with approximately 2 kilowatt hours of energy, if you do not factor upstream energy costs. Every instrument made for this kickstarter will be optically and acoustically scanned to add to our database, with transparency as to our raw material sources.

Praxis Guitar #p.0.C.c "Erika"
Praxis Guitar #p.0.C.c "Erika"

This was the first guitar prototype ever sold by Praxis Guitars, and represents what an Artist Class Praxis Zero looked like in 2011. The source files for "Erika" will be released under Creative Commons Licensing upon the successful completion of this Kickstarter. You will be able to download the code at our SourceForge page and build a replica of it yourself. The frame and neck are licensed so that you can sell them should you choose. The body design is to be licensed for non-commercial production only. The frame design has changed quite radically since this guitar was made, so one should not expect any structural compatibility with the instruments produced for this Kickstarter.

Praxis Guitars LLC was founded in 2011 by Andrew Benson. He has been working on what would become this corporation for pretty much all his life. He grew up in the mountain town of Flagstaff, Arizona and received a degree in Architecture from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has lived in Denver since graduating in 2009, and is in 2 different bands with his Denver friends. He recently designed a low-cost CNC machine specifically to build these guitars. This Kickstarter will allow for the purchase of all remaining parts necessary to build that machine.

Andrew is not alone at Praxis Guitars
Andrew is not alone at Praxis Guitars

MAGICAL WIZARDS AND DANGEROUS ROBOTS!

calor fluo, ergo sum
calor fluo, ergo sum

Qlawdia is the name for the process algorithm that takes raw materials and turns them into Guitars.

the first version of Qlawdia's neck wizardry
the first version of Qlawdia's neck wizardry

After the 2011 kickstarter did not reach the funding goals, Qlawdia and Andrew dove in to the design software to create an operational parametric neck generator. Simply put, ergonomic preferences such as string length, neck thickness and curvature profiles are entered into Qlawdia, and out comes a super fantastic guitar neck made to precise specification.

#AL^x the bureaucratic Allosaurus
#AL^x the bureaucratic Allosaurus

This project is presently spread thin between a myriad of software suites, operating systems, human memory and handwritten notes. Until the end of this kickstarter, Andrew will be working with AL^x the bureaucratic Allosaurus and his team of super financial dinosaurs in order to get the annual business report done. If you want a beautifully bound copy of this report, a coffee table style book is available as a gratuitous swag reward.


As Qlawdia's parametric system was first emerging, we discovered that the components we could buy did not fit the range of geometries that the system could produce. This was fixed by 3d printing our guitar pickup bobbins, and we have designs that we want to test for 3d printing every part of the guitar that wasn't cut on a CNC router. Such would constitute a potentially huge drop in physical costs for the instruments, but such an undertaking may extend beyond the engineering budget enabled by this Kickstarter.

Turtles all the way up.
Turtles all the way up.

Here at Praxis Guitars, Jeet'r & C#l{bR0 (pronounced Klee-Broh; the pound sign is silent) are our feature creepers. Jeet'r is the simple minded ghost of an inventor. C#l{bR0 is his/her complicatoluted robot pal. Together with a herd of magical turtles, they disseminate technology via their choosy-chariot. Praxis Guitars can only promise so many features for each guitar class from where we stand now; Jeet'r and C#l{bR0 exist to carry features from more expensive guitars to the less expensive guitars before the production procurement process begins. For example, right now we can promise wireless midi function on the professional class and above; if the magical turtles can get over their quantum entanglement, that feature may creep all the way down to the explorer model. This kickstarter exists to enable a most excellent engineering jig before Jeet'r & C#l{bR0 have to lock down the features.

We have come so far to get here.
We have come so far to get here.

There is still an infinite amount of work left to do at Praxis Guitars, but together we have made great strides. The Praxis Zero was exhibited at the January 2011 Denver Maker Group. It has been exhibited at the 2011 Bay Area Maker Faire (we won a ribbon!) and the 2011 Guild of American Luthiers conference. We exhibited the parametric limits to the backers of our last Kickstarter as soon as the prototype was functional. A goal of this project is to become a platform for anyone to be able to learn how to make ever more awesome guitars alongside a most excellent cast of robots and wizards.


After this Kickstarter has been accomplished we will budget out the resources for the engineering phase. We are presently expecting this to be around 30% of the total amount of money we receive from Kickstarter (who will be taking a share).

We plan to ship all guitars out by Memorial Day.
We plan to ship all guitars out by Memorial Day.


The production phase is presently best estimated in both Qlawdia and Andrew time. presently it takes about two hours of Andrew wrangling Qlawdia's spreadsheets and forms for each unique instance of manufacturing. This could be programmed into an online guitar building wizard with ease, and there would be no more need for wild and crazy spreadsheets. This might be a major priority during the next few weeks, but it won't be if we only have to build a handful of guitars.


Extended Goals

Let us set sail for Adventure!
Let us set sail for Adventure!

If this kickstarter raises more than $58,000, Praxis Guitars will turn an old Step Van into a mobile guitar factory capable of manufacturing musical instruments anywhere. If this happens, we will add some bonus mobility enabled rewards for backers. With this much money we could put a recording studio in the van as well. By our present calculations, with a single human employee this mobile factory could produce from 1 to 8 guitars a day, depending on the class of guitar. It would be most excellent if the van could generate it's own energy, but for now all of our machinery is designed to be run off of a common (at least here in the USA) 15 amp 110 volt circuit so that the process can be tethered anywhere. If we make enough money, we will build a fleet of these vans.

If you are in the Denver area and want to try out one of the prototypes, you can reach Praxis Guitars on facebook, twitter, or google+. There will be celebrations if this project exceeds its needs. If this project exceeds the ability of the present staff to fulfill the rewards, we would love to be able to hire more robots and humans. If you have a patented (or patent pending) guitar technology, we would love to be able license it.

buy our knobs, or don't.
buy our knobs, or don't.

You can buy our excellent knobs on Shapeways right now, or print them on your own 3d printer. The design is free to print for non commercial use. Depending on how they are printed and what they are attached to, they may need some final fitting or adhesive to work with your potentiometer. Measure things before you print them.

Special thanks to Emilio for lending his guitar wizardry to this project.

Risks and challenges

We have been evolving this design for almost 8 years now, and we are very confident in our ability to deliver the guitars offered here. The amount of money required to complete this kickstarter is much less than our first attempt; the pecuniary discrepancy is a tangible manifestation of the skills and tools acquired in the mean time.
Both the Praxis Guitar itself and the manufacturing process are cutting edge designs. We're confident in the Praxis Zero, but there may still be kinks in the machines that we've designed to build them. If that happens, we can rent out time on other machines to finish production.
There are still many procurement tasks that can only be completed after the kickstarter ends. The scale of this production run will determine component and raw material sourcing.
Right now Praxis Guitars has only one human working overtime to keep the business running. If this kickstarter is successful enough, we will be able to hire employees and race forward with finishing the next generation of instruments.
There are many factors that may delay delivery of the instruments. The features available to the backers won't be set until the engineering push ends. The date is an estimation based on past experiences. If there are any unexpected delays, we will be upfront and honest with them. We are trying to build an excellent reputation off of this kickstarter.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    DIGITAL MEDIA FUN PACKAGE!
    Thanks for your support! We will send you a link to download some awesome songs performed on the Praxis Zero! You will also receive progressive updates along with all of the other backers.

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    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    MINI SWAG SET!
    We will mail you a package with a commemorative hard copy of the digital media fun pack, some stickers, 2 Praxis Zero sew on patches, and a few postcards. Also includes a poem written on a machine readable code, engraved onto METAL with a LASER.

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    Pledge $72 or more About $72

    SUPER SWAG SET!
    we will mail you a package including the mini swag set, an awesome t-shirt, a 3d printed C#l{bR0 action figure, a poster, and a papercraft guitar you can assemble to enhance your air guitar majesty.

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    Pledge $144 or more About $144

    SUPER MEGA SWAG SET! Includes the super swag set. Also included is a kalimba that plays 3d printed songs, like a music box. You can also play the kalimba with your body, or 3d print your own songs to be played on it. Comes with at least 1 song.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $194 or more About $194

    EXPLORER CLASS PRAXIS ZERO! This is the kit version of the Praxis Zero. You will receive a kit of parts that can be assembled into a fully functional instrument. Includes mini swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $256 or more About $256

    GRATUITOUS SWAG SET!
    Includes the super mega swag set. Also included: a beautifully bound copy of the annual business report, and a unique wooden keepsake signed by all of the wonderful people and robots here at Praxis Guitars.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $284 or more About $284

    STUDENT CLASS PRAXIS ZERO! A perfectly fine instrument designed for affordable functionality. Includes mini swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $546 or more About $546

    AMATEUR CLASS PRAXIS ZERO!
    A fine guitar for a discerning musician. Includes mini swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $884 or more About $884

    PROFESSIONAL CLASS PRAXIS ZERO!
    A superb guitar. Includes the mini set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,344 or more About $1,344

    ARTIST CLASS PRAXIS ZERO!
    A signature series of guitars, as defined by you- the artist. Includes the mini swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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    Pledge $2,246 or more About $2,246

    MASTER CLASS PRAXIS ZERO! An incredible instrument, built by the hands of the masters at Praxis Guitars. Includes the mini swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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    Pledge $7,422 or more About $7,422

    WIZARD CLASS PRAXIS ZERO! A magical instrument that can produce unbelievable music. Includes the super swag set. If you want more swag, add the dollar difference between sets.

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Funding period

- (28 days)