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Rhinoceros Luthier

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bocete, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    I'm going to give a shot in making my dream bass in 3D :)

    So, where should I start? I have already went through the design with a friend who knows 3D modelling, and I have a sketch. I should get all the measures ready before I start modelling, but once I'm done, where should I start? Here's the plan, but it might be flawed:

    - First, the nut-bridge part of the strings and the neck (plank only, neck-through)
    - The nut and the bridge
    - Fretboard
    - Pickups
    - Body wings, shaped to the final look
    - Shape the neck plank
    - Tuners and the reminder of strings
    - Hardware (Knobs, Strap mounting thingys, jack and a pickguard)
    - The backplate for the electric stuff
    - fret markers and other textures.

    No fancy tops, the top would be plain black. I would use a wood texture for the neck and the non-top body.

    Is this plan OK?
  2. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    That's nice but what do you want to do with it once it's modelled? Are you going to get someone to CNC the whole thing? That'll be big money I'm sure to do a one off run. Especially programming a CAM software in 3D just for that.

    If all you want is to use your model for building templates then there's no need for 3D, just use 2D drawings in AutoCAD or even simpler, with CorelDraw.

    If you just want to model the bass for the hell of it in 3D then all I can say is , have fun! I'll start doing that too pretty soon, I've been looking at a few pieces to start modelling all in different part ffiles and assemble together in the end. Should be fun to do and good practice with the software. I use Autodesk Inventor.

    I suggest you either learn to model on your own or let your friend decide what exactly is best to start with. If he's going to do the job you don't really have to worry about the order. It'll all come together in the end anyway.
  3. Rhino is good if you know what you are drawing. Yes you should know the measure of all parts first. I would suggest to make parts first (tuners, pickups etc.) and you can keep it for future drawings. Then you can go with neck, fretboard, frets, body.

    The pros of Rhino: easy program, low price, will make the job for what you need.
    The cons of Rhino are: there is no history or part tree as it is in engineering programs such as SolidWorks where when e.g. you go back to an earlier part and change its size (scale), it rearranges everything related to that part. But in Rhino, when you change for example the radius of fretboard later, you'll have to edit manually all the frets which was following the curvature of the fretboard. So it is a good idea to know the dimensions first as it can be APITA to redraw everything later.
  4. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    That's good advice. I didn't know I couldn't, for example, assign frets so that they're always in-line with the fretboard.

    Btw, I'll be making this for the sake of fun. If I made it right, it could be used as a model for a real one.. But for now, I just want to see the baby I imagined sort of coming to life :)
  5. I used Rhino to design my current build. First I did some basic measurements of a bass I already have, then I measured myself to try and put cutaways, upper and lower horns, and the neck in the most comfortable position for me. I worked on the outline until I had a pleasing design, then I lofted it 3-d to see if I liked it from different angles. Once I was satisfied, I printed my outlines full size at kinko's on architectural-E sized paper and got to cutting. I made small changes to the 2-d design as I went along (mostly to things like the neck pocket and electronics access hole, so I could make templates) but I didn't bother with doing the changes 3-d. Check out the progress: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=402605


  6. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    I've actually modeled something :hyper:

    Just a simple tuning macine, but it's a start.

    Attached Files:

  7. nice work! I should send you my rhino model, you can import those tuners and tack them on!
  8. RAHAZ


    Feb 12, 2007
    Nice work. I work in CAD all day and have a few bass designs that I created some time ago. I need to find someone with a CNC to make my templates. :D

    Keep the updates coming.
  9. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    No need to, I feel like I can finish the model within days :) I've just finished the design to the last detail, just to make measures and modelling is easy. Almost too easy in rhino, I love it.

    You know the saying, I've got 90% done, but I've got 90% left? That's how I feel :)

    Btw, I could send you these tuners so you could use them in future projects, if you want to. I used the measures of the Hipshot Ultralites. Also, changing the clover to the Y should be fairly easy as well.

  10. rahaz-i was looking into getting my templates laser-cut, RMS Laser in san diego gave me the most reasonable quote i found. i decided to cut these by hand and spend the money on more tools, but i'll probably hit them up on my next build. PM me if you want to know what they quoted me.
  11. Bocete- It's all good, I didn't model the tuners, but I used Rhino to make a template for my shallers so that I'd get the index holes in the right place.

    I think the greatest thing about rhino is how easy it is to manipulate curves; once you know the program, it's a lot easier and more precise than trying to do it on paper or in a regular drawing program. I like my tangent conic sections to be spot-on!

    So lets see some screen shots! Are using Flamingo to render, or the renderer built in to rhino?
  12. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    That's precisely what I hate on Inventor. Curves are a bitch to do. :mad: I've been fighting the software like mad to make a neck back contour for a couple of days. I'd be so much more happier if they'd stick a Bezier tool inside Inventor. :rolleyes:

    That tuner looks fantastic. Trying to learn more about Rhino here, is the tuner modelled all in one piece or all the components from the tuner separate and assembled together? With Inventor I'd have to model them separately then assemble them. Cool part is you can animate it after (get the tuner and the pos to turn.)
  13. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    I've tried rendering with the built-in renderer, and it sucked hard :) I'm gonna look into all the plugins later, when there's anything significant to render.

    Right now, I'm going through all the individual mini-parts to construct. After that, modeling all the parts and then assembling would be easy. I would like to avoid boolean functions, because I don't want any meshes. Because of that, the body is a bit of a problem to me, but I'll consult my mentor about that. That curve where you rest is a pain, I want it to be continuous between the top and the wood underneath. Like on this picture
    only my top is about 1cm thick. I'll get it all sorted out today, probably.

  14. I learned rhino through extensive use of boolean funtions, but I've gotten away from that as I got better, as I think most people do. If I was trying to model that body contour, I'd use the sweep 2 rails function; sweep the edge of the flat top and flat back, with some tangent profile curves along the way (conic sections with the apex at your outline) To get those laminate edges, I'd just make a few cutting planes, cut the model up, and assign a different color to each cut piece. That would be easier than trying to build each little ribbon.

    I'm stoked to see some screen shots!
  15. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    Here are some progress pics.

    I've got problems with those two parts marked on the perspective view. I guess it's something that I've missed, I'll try to sort it out tomorrow. I've had two crashes and one infinite loop trying to boolean / split these two parts :)

    Attached Files:

  16. For the arm contour, I think sweep 2 rails would do what you're trying to do. I'd bet the beginning and ending profile curves would be enough to get what you want, or make one more in the middle to take more control of the shape.

    What are you trying to do at the tail block cutout, chamfer those edges? I'd do each straight edge individually, then use 'surface from edge curves' to do the corners.
  17. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    I've finnaly finished the body the way I like it. Here are several pics. Now, onto the bridge/nut/fretboard.

    I had no problem shaping those surfaces the way I want them, however I had to explode ALL the shapes, then split every surface with it's neighbours and then join them back. It was a PAIN where the neck meets the body (the upper-right picture) All the edges are filleted (some manually :crying:), except the one where will the nut be. I was advised to do that, apperently it will look much better in the rendering.

    Attached Files:

  18. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    How many luthiers do you know that string the bass before putting pickups, the fretboard, or even the tuners? :)

    Attached Files:

  19. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    Apperently, I have dreamed about the EMGs I'd use. I can clearly recall finding ultra-narrow extra wide 6 string singles on their site, just made for fanning them. They are on all of my sketches. However, they don't exist, and haven't ever existed. I must be going insane.


    I was thinking of making a J/P that can switch to MM/P, by using two singles as the J/MM, and a P bridge pickup. Now, it all falls down to a EMG-45TW as the bridge pup, and a EMG-45P as the neck pup. However, they are just barely wide enough to fan them. I'll model them nevertheless, but there might be better stuff out there.

    Going custom would be too costly :)
  20. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Delano makes slanted pups

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