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What do you guys use to design your basses?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chris1125, Aug 1, 2012.


  1. chris1125

    chris1125

    May 14, 2007
    Is there a program you use to get a solid design that you use as a blueprint?
     
  2. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Norway
    Photoshop and/or sketchup.

    Photoshop to design the artistic bits like body shapes and paint jobs. Sketchup for technical drawings where measurements are critical.
     
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    A wide roll of butchers paper, a pencil, and a yard stick.

    I suck at computers, and designing full scale gives you a better idea of what the instrument will look like when its finished.
     
  4. PSYCHOTIC

    PSYCHOTIC

    Mar 26, 2012
    New York
    find a hq photo, print according to scale length/fret measurements, stick on cardboard, use as template.
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/715/copyofvintage204blk.jpg/
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
    If you want to make your own design you should try drawing it. If you really want to use a computer use Autocad and if theres a chance you can find a CNC shop willing to cut wood use solidworks.
    I built a bolt-on V with a reversed jackson inline 4 headstock in class out of boredom. I'll try to get photos of it. heres the bridge for now
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/152/bridge1.png/
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  5. Jarno

    Jarno

    Jan 27, 2005
    Pro/ENGINEER (because I still have it on my work-PC), works fantastic, drag splines while still being able to constrain dimensions, parametric design (automatically calculate fret positions, rule of 18ths (or whatever you like)). Not really a viable option unless you use it for other work as well, it is a pretty expensive piece of software.
     
  6. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Pencil, paper and measured straight edge
     
  7. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    AutoCAD is my preference; mostly because I learned it years ago and can easily draw what I want in it.
     
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    We might as well be using stone and a chisel :D
     
  9. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Solid Edge, only because that's the software I used to learn solid modelling. We use Solid Works at work now. The transition isn't as smooth as I had hoped ...
     
  10. I'm designind my first build and used AutoCad, it worked out great, I'd never used it, but is not that hard.
     
  11. Vectorworks. That's what we use at work and I'm familiar with it. I can do 3d also, but I've never bothered to really learn it. We also have a 36" plotter which makes it easy to print full scale drawings for templates, etc.
     
  12. Hapa

    Hapa

    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Rhinoceros, Vector Mill, Big piece of drafting paper and pencil with straight edge, precisicion 6 inch ruler, caliper, machine square.
     
  13. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    the CAD tool of choice depends on what you plan to do with the design once your done CADding

    - if all you want is something to make 2D printed paper drawings and/or templates, most any inexpensive CAD or illustration tool allowing you to draw to scale will do

    - if, on the other hand, you will be utilizing the CAD design to drive downstream processes like CNC machining, then you need to choose a CAD system that is integrated with a CAM package you also find to your capability needs and budget

    Regenerate_5String_ToolPaths.

    in the latter case you need to set your software budget pretty high, as even a low-cost configuration that's usable for machining guitar bodies and necks will run you over $2K US

    a robustly functional combo at a budget price would be something like

    - Rhino CAD 3D for design ($995 US)
    - one of the multiple CAM packages that run on/within Rhino for your CNC tool path generation ($995 - +$2595 US depending on your package choice)
    - you'll still need a third software package like Mach 3 to control your CNC


    I get that you're probably not thinking CNC with your original post in this thread. my content here is more to get you thinking beyond this week, and recognizing that if you're going to spend $$ on CAD software you should consider the larger picture of what you plan to do so that you don't find yourself needing to re-purchase and re-learn a CAD tool in the future

    all the best,

    R
     
  14. I model in Rhino (been using the OSX beta for almost 4 years now, it's still free). I export as .dxf and .stl, then do my 2D toolpaths in CamBam ($175) and my 3D paths in MeshCam ($150, I think it was on sale.) I'm looking forward to RhinoCAM on Mac. Looks like a lot less work than my current workflow. I use LinuxCNC to control the machine, it's rock solid, and free!
     
  15. chris1125

    chris1125

    May 14, 2007
    Any free pc software?
     
  16. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I gave MeshCAM a try via the free trial license ... after seeing it's limitations in tool path definitions, line cutting, and drilling ... I quickly uninstalled it and moved on. if my only interest was to CNC the contours of a carved top body or even a rear neck contour, it would have been just OK (lacking too the capability for toolpath definition controls I need for production use)


    there are many free tools available for download if you search for them ... and IME many of them are all great bargains - considering what you pay for them :D

    here's one place to begin your free software exploration: http://www.freecadcam.com/

    I came to the conclusion that I wanted to build instruments with my available time, and not to spend countless hours attempting to find workarounds for software bugs, functional deficiencies, or even the most basic modeling and/or toolpath generation needs


    if you're a student, I'd recommend purchasing a student version of one of the more popular CAD packages. many are available for under $200 US

    http://www.academicsuperstore.com/c...nd+Industrial+Design/Mechanical+Design/295437


    all the best,

    R
     
  17. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    LMAO :p I kind of like it that way, I have no need for CAD because I can draw what's in my head. And seeing as the only thing I would use CC for is inlay, I don't see me learning it soon...LOL
     
  18. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    that the biggest line of denial I've ever hear, JC

    :D

    R
     
  19. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    +1 - this is my method... that, poster board, and lots of tracing paper for making changes and transferring rough lines to the wood.
     
  20. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    I admire you so much using Solidworks, I don't have the patience to learn it. Great job..


    If you want to make your own design you should try drawing it. If you really want to use a computer use Autocad and if theres a chance you can find a CNC shop willing to cut wood use solidworks.
    I built a bolt-on V with a reversed jackson inline 4 headstock in class out of boredom. I'll try to get photos of it. heres the bridge for now
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/152/bridge1.png/
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG][/QUOTE]
     

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