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What CAD program do you use?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassic83, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    For designing bodies, what CAD program do you use? Curious, because I'm trying to do some body designs so I can print out templates to use. I've found that Delta CAD seems pretty cool, but want some other points of view...freeware or shareware are cool as well as commercial.
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Right now, we use AutoCAD R14 but we're gradually switching to SolidWorks 2004 and UniGraphics v.18.
  3. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    AutoCAD 2002.
  4. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    I have used freecad and, errrr, what's it's name, qcad I think. Decent for 2d design. Not much for 3D CAD that is free. Been discussed many times on the forums at www.arcadecontrols.com :)
  5. Ashlar Vellum 3D and learning SolidWorks.
  6. If all you want is a 2D program to design your basses and then send the file to have templates cut, then the free version of turbocad should be enough. Search on it, it has great features, and it's free!
  7. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Very cool- thank you one and all!
  8. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    ok... ok.... i'll be the loony retro guy...

    i know AutoCAD and MicroStation, but for figuring out basses, i mainly use Vector. *sheepish grin*
    that said, i really only use it for the string/neck/bridge/control cavity geometry. the curves are done the old fashioned way... paper and pencil.
  9. Scott French

    Scott French Dude

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    I don't do any real designing on the computer... I do it in a notebook at about 20% of full scale. I take all my stuff into Adobe Illustrator for refining. For drawing vector it's about as easy as it gets. I've been using it for about 3 years worth of designs and it worked pretty well for me so far. I've done all my body templates off printed Illustrator files.
  10. For 2D work AutoCAD 2005, for 3D models Solidworks 2005, and for rendering 3D studio Max 7. Try and use each package for what it was designed to do best.
  11. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Whew! I thought I was going to be the only one here, but I also use either Illustrator or Macromedia's Freehand to do my stuff. Very simple to use and works like a charm for doing 2D-type layouts. Lately, I have been using just Freehand because it is the newest one in my setup and it works quite well. Although I have always wanted to mess with AutoCAD, I just haven't had the time. Oh, the woes of being a designer/graphic artist -- no time for anything else ...

    } ... end of rambling ... {
  12. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    pro/engineer for the layout/modeling/detailing.

    3dstudio max for rendering.



  13. fhodshon,
    :eek: impressed! how long does it usually take you to model a complete instrument?

    PS. nice tiles!
  14. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i usually bid full bass projects at about 40 hours.

    really rough.

    i've developed a Pro/Program routine within Pro/Engineer that prompts for major features like scale length, number of frets, nut width, etc...

    but, that only takes me so far.

    plus i haven't completely ironed the bugs out. there are som many variables that its tough to include EVERY possible variation.

    i can do a non-manufacturing oriented model and rendering pretty quickly.

    i've learned a lot about the geometric relationships in guitar design by modeling designs in 3D.

    its compensation for being a complete maladriot around shop tools.


  15. Jarno


    Jan 27, 2005
    Hello f,

    You could also use a skeleton model which contains all the curves for the frets, scale length, and perhaps other helpful things. I always find pro/program to be not quite transparent.
    One thing I really like about 3d modelling is that you can actually see where the centre of gravity of the instrument will be, you can also tune it's location by using different materials.
    I have yet to build a bass from my drawings though.



    Attached Files:

  16. I use CorelDraw 12 for everything - basic wireframe layout to renderings. I also generate files for conversion to CNC from several of the export types available in CDR.
  17. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer

    i've used Skeleton models for years now as TOP DOWN method.

    yup, works great.

    pro/program works really well in setting up the skeleton model features, then bang away from there.

    nice drawing.