Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
Are these not super cheap like <$50 and designed to be played in rough environments like literally in the water? Expectations on quality of the instrument should keep that in mind.
I think the irritation comes from the fact that a better product wouldn't need to cost more.
My personal opinion is that the mechanical properties of inexpensive thermoplastics aren't going to give a great sound.
But given those limitations, the properties are very well understood, and far more repeatable than in wood.
Everything is a compromise, but that is the advantage plastic has.
Molding tolerances can be held very close, even after accounting for shrinkage during cooling.
There's really no reason for the action on a plastic ukulele to be high, and for it to play out of tune up the neck. It's not like wood, that will shrink and expand with moisture, and differently depending on the orientation of the grain.
And as the OP pointed out, it's not as if it hasn't been done before, and better. So the problems are not only known to be solvable, but previously solved.
And in the time since it was previously solved, in the 50s, there are far better tools available to model not only the response of the top to string tension, but also to help with building a reliable and high-production mold.

So I think it's a disappointment in what might have been.