CNC paths

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by artistanbul, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    Hello. I wonder if this is the right place to ask this..
    anyway. I want to try making a bass. and will do so mostly with CNC. And I wonder if there is anywhere I can find or buy routing paths, or if that is not possible, 3d models of basses and guitars. thanks.
  2. Nothing like that is available and there's several reasons why:

    1. The amount of time and knowledge to make what you seek is astronomical. Compensation for the work isn't cheap. In fact, you couldn't afford it.

    2. Once designed for a particular project and machine, it is likely that the files would only work for that particular machine. There are many file types that do this but some (a lot) are proprietary.

    3. The fruit of the labor involved will probably belong to a larger company and they would have exactly 0 reasons to let competitors have access to the files.

    That said, why aren't you creating your own files? Most of the fun of CNC machining is the creation of the object and fine tuning of the design to cut on the machine. Where is your creativity? You should be making these files yourself. If not, just go out and buy a bass with a computer cut body and neck and you'll have what you would have had if someone had let you copy theirs.
  3. this is eerie.

    Artistanbul (nice nick by the way),

    I've been doing this very thing.

    I use a high end CAD program that takes years to get comfy with. The 3D files from this program are FULLY compatible with MasterCam (the mutha of all CAM apps).

    beyond that, i've been a product designer for 29 years.

    there's a lot of finessing that goes into each of my 3D models/assemblies. i've spent the last 4 years (ACK) working like a FREAK to get guitar/bass data just right.

    validation came when a reputable NC house got my files and were pleased to see such a complete model.

    i've also worked with NC houses that couldn't handle the level of detail i am accustomed to developing. i've had to back off my feature set significantly at times.

    my day job is designing plastic cosmetic parts for comsumer, industrial, medical (etc...) products. i am used to EXTREME detail for molding/machining processes, designing for various environmental conditions, blah, blah...

    i don't know your background, but i AM assuming that with your request, you haven't had much professional experience with 3D and NC.

    the old hand made VS. NC battle is a funny one. it can takes YEARS to develop a body/neck/electronics combination that REALLY WORKS before you go mass production. and finding a good 3D CAD designer that can effectively hand off data to an NC house isn't a meager issue.

    i don't know why i'm going off like this other than because this has become a labor of love.

    if you just want to bang out some parts for fun and not really care about the result -- which is GREAT to get your feet wet, then acquiring files without your personal development is not a big deal.

    but, if you want to make a remarkable instrument, you need to get your hands dirty (virtually that is) and get inside the design.

    though, i think i've contracted teurets syndrome over the last few years - (i scream profanities at my computer constantly).

    a hazard i can live with.


  4. oh, i agree with Hambone, the amount of time that goes into developing 3D and NC data, i doubt anyone would part with it.

    i DO have a generic Jazz body in 3D that i might cough up.

  5. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    thanks for the responses. I was in fact looking to check how its done. From the complete to the scratch approach if you will. then I could make one for myself. Very talented CNC artists are also available for me. Who could make the routing paths out of a 3d model, blueprint or a real bass, going from easier to harder. But as I said I am looking for how its done, how much details go into the model and et cetera. I'll definitely have my own model done in 3ds. I am just looking for pointers in the way, because I am currently very obsessed with the thought. thanks again.
  6. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    oh and fhodshon that would be great. yay!
  7. Art, for this, you've got a great resource in Fred. I swear this man has to have a bionic vision circuitry built right in to be able to stare at a monitor as long as does. As we've seen how his work progresses through it's stages, it's evident that he knows his stuff.
  8. my retinas burned out years ago!

    THANKS! TB has seen my virtual luthership (?) develop from the beginning!

    lemme dig through the hundreds of FRIGGIN UNLABELED CDS IN MY OFFICE. (i'm yelling at myself!)


    i'll find that file if it KILLS ME!

  9. well, i found the render i did years ago.


    so, i have a file name at least.

  10. I too am a CNC programmer, and yup, MasterCam kicks butt.

    I'm curious as to what software you use for CAD. I use Vellum 3d, and am learning Solid. I've done a few different bodies, a homage piece, and a couple new designs.

    I am working on a non-reverse Thunderbird, done up bolt-on style...and I found some good dead-front pics online, bitmapped them, created spline points off the outline, scaled said points to match my part-fit requirements, and converted them to IGES for MasterCam Mill7 software (still waiting for an upgrade to 10, grrrr) and then took the spline points and re-created the body shape with 3-point arcs, to minimize post-proc. line code... I know that's a tad archaic and basic, but hell, it's all learning curve, as I have yet to get to good renderings.

    Most of the work I do only involves 3 axis, so when I'm more proficient at Vellum solid, and someday our machines are updated, then I can do better parts (i.e. necks)

    I use Heian and Thermwood Machines, and Fanuc control.

    My body came out fantastic, it is possible.

    I'll post pics of it sometime.
  11. i love these threads!

    i use Pro/Engineer (3D solids modeler with the advanced surfacing module) for all of my part and assembly creation.

    3D Studio MAX for rendering.


    sounds like you're doing what i'll be learning next. GREAT STUFF!

    MasterCAM 9 opens my Pro/Engineer part files without any conversion needed.

    a beauty to behold!

  12. I'd laugh with you too on this but it's so sadly true! :rolleyes:
  13. Very cool. I looked up some info on your software. Nice stuff.
    I did some day classes on Mill9, and then the company talked up version 10, so yeah, the updates are GREAT! It's like a carrot dangling in my face.

  14. ewwwwwwww, here's a REAL old one:


  15. forgot i had this one too.


    hey Mon, we can produce cheap knock-offs of JP's Plume!!!



  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE

    I'll be watching you !! :spit:

  17. VOYEUR!


  18. LOL! Yeah, we'll get right onnit. Sorry JP, we can be your stateside "OLP". v:O)
  19. HI,
    Im a CNC operator. In my CNC programming class the instructer mentioned something about CNC machines for wood. I was just wondering if they use the same G and M codes. I know these CNCs can do some complex stuff, so it doesnt suprise me that the idea of making basses with CNCs would come up. Oh and i saw someone mention something about CAM software. How hard is that to learn? Im taking autocad in the fall, and I know i have to take a CAM class.
  20. Our router at work (Multi-Cam) runs G-code and another software proprietary type I can't remember now. Another place I did router work at used, I think, ABC but could run others. That was an Accu-Cut.