CNC and CAD companies to use

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by thebassbuilder, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    Was not sure how to label this but wanted to know if any of you have had a shop do your CAD and CNC your build? If so who were they? If this is not allowed, can I at least have the info private messaged to me. I have found one company and have spoken to them about this and they seemed reasonable enough but wanted to see who all is out there offering 1 off's. I have a new concept and I would like to have this done up so if I could offer it for sale the process would be much more simple having it CNC'd when needed and then me doing the final touches. Life does not offer me the time it used to and think this would potentially be worth the setup cost. Thanks and sorry if this was posted by someone else but could not find anything.
  2. coreybox


    Jan 5, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    (I'm also interested in CAD/CNC shops that could do one-offs from 3D drawings for a reasonable price)
    thebassbuilder likes this.
  3. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    I went back to the one company I had quoted out before to do the work and I was looking at their pricing again and based off of the current pricing and estimated time they claim to do stuff it may be well over thousand dollars just to get the first Proto type buddy Blake. That seems like too much for me so I’m now looking for other options. I know people time is worth money that part I totally get it don’t want to make anybody do work for nothing but at the same time if it’s not a problem business to get started and there’s no need to spend that much set up cost.
    FugaziBomb likes this.
  4. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    I learned stringed instrument buildiling using traditional violin making techniques, I mean all hand tools, all edge tools, all the time. A 14" band saw was about as modern as it got at that time. 13 years ago I bought a CNC router and have learned to use that along with traditional methods . Long story short, IME having a cnc is the best way to learn that one off instruments are not what a CNC is good at. You will spend muich more time creating CAD drawings , creating g-code, devising and building holding jigs and fixtures, prototyping, redrawing, re-g-coding, and final cutting than you ever would just building by hand.

    Even small production runs a pin router often makes more sense than cnc. You could draw the bass in CAD, get templates cut at a cnc shop, then do the work with a pin router. A cnc shop can easily cut templates because the acrylic or whatever sheet good you make the template out of can be held in place on a vacuum table. It does not need any special jig. Plus, you can probably find a used pin router for not much more than what you were quoted for the cnc work. Check out any of the @Dadagoboi threads for excellent examples of using a pin router in small scale production. Until you can ask a cnc shop for 10 or more bodies I'm guessing it will be cost prohibitive.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    thebassbuilder and Dadagoboi like this.
  5. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    This is about right. I'm certified in Autocad, Solidworks, and Inventor and to model a bass in 3D would take 5-8 hours of desk time for about $20 hr. Then there is material cost to figure. The average body blank will run you $200-ish. Also factor in that a company needs to turn profit as well as cover the cost of wear and tear on the CNC and electricity to power it and keep the lights on for the day. $1000 seems fair.
    thebassbuilder likes this.
  6. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Yeah, light duty Industrial Overarm Pin Router...$700 used. Gives me the flexiblity to do the half dozen or so bodies that are most of my 'line' non digitally from shop made mdf templates. 120 volts with a shop vac for dust collection.

  7. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    I know nothing about CAD or CNC but I wonder can you take aspects of another project and drag to new project? Meaning neck pocket pickup routes and so on? This seems like a possible cost effective way to save time.
  8. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes. This is easily done.
    thebassbuilder likes this.
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 30, 2021

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