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Cnc Help?


diggidy
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Hi guys, sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I couldn't find anything in the search feature.

OK, so my dad is an engineer, and has a CNC machine at work. I saw the guitar files on the projectguitar website, but when you tried opening them they were not in 3D. I also tried using the ones from a different website, I believe it was called guitarbuild.com or something. Anyway, I was wondering if any of you guys could tell me what is happening that they are not 3D images. He uses a program called solidworks for all of his drawings and stuff.

If any of you know, are the files on the projectguitar website drawn to proportion, and have the correct measurements, or is it just an inaccurate drawing of what the guitar is supposed to look like?

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Most of the drawings you'll find are 2D which is no big deal if you know anything about CNC's. You need to open those up in a CAM software and then extrude the paths and program them. If your dad is familiar with all this then you need to spend some time together programming it together.

It's not easy. If you don't know anything about it it'll be a steep learning curve. I'd suggest to take a class if you want to learn more or spend a good amount of time reading up on cnczone.com

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OK, thanks for that link.

Im not so worried about the actual CNC programing and actually seeing the drawing. My dad doesn't have a problem with the programming and drawing part, but he doesn't know anything about guitars, so he either has to download the file in 3D because he doesn't know about the pockets and stuff in a guitar.

for an example, the jem file http://www.projectguitar.com/ref/adv/dwg.htm here, he could not open up at all. Does he have to do something special or what. Like I said before, he uses solidworks. Is there any other programs he could download for free in order to view it? thanks

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My dad doesn't have a problem with the programming and drawing part, but he doesn't know anything about guitars, so he either has to download the file in 3D because he doesn't know about the pockets and stuff in a guitar.

That's where YOU come in. If you're here I assume you know something about guitars. You'd be the one sitting next to dad telling him how deep the pocket need to be. I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem if told how high or low to go. If you're not sure about all this yourself then you better drop that project until you have learned enough to build a guitar yourself. i.e. you don't run before walking, meaning you have to know how to build a guitar before you can get a machine to do it.

for an example, the jem file http://www.projectguitar.com/ref/adv/dwg.htm here, he could not open up at all. Does he have to do something special or what. Like I said before, he uses solidworks. Is there any other programs he could download for free in order to view it? thanks

I think you need to give a contribution to download these files. DWG files can be opened by Solidworks

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by how high or low he needs to go in the programming part, do you mean like the pickup pockets and such. Would that mean I would need to buy the pickups and stuff before programming or anything. I have plans from guitarplansunlimited, but don't know if they include the depts. I will have to check. I am building a LP, so would you have anything I could look at the see how deep I really need to go?

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You are not gonna find any files online that have the proper geometry and the depths - nevermind working 3d models. You're lucky to find a basic outline.

You have two options here (if using a dwg file from the net)-

1 - borrow a guitar from someone that you want to build and use it as a guide for the depths of the pockets

2 - buy all the hardware you intend to use and measure it when you get it

There's tons of info on the net, but you have to sift through a lot of garbage and conribute a lot of your own info too.

-Kevin

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Ok here we go. I am including a link to a LP file that I made. This is not a full 3d solid like you would create in Solidworks, but you should be able to take what I have here and create what you need. In this file you will find the outline of a LP with all the cavity shapes. You will also find a surface that replicates the carve on the top of the Les Paul.

A LP usually has 1.5" thick mahogany body with a .750" thick maple cap on it, for a total thickness of 2.25". The carved section is .5" deep at the deepest point. If your dad takes the out line and extrudes it to 2.25 and then lays the surfaces for the carve so that the highest point of the carve is at the top of that 2.25 extrusion, he should be able to trim his solid model the that surface. It sounds confusing, but he should understand if this is what he does for his work. You will have to do a little research for pickup pocket depths and what not...I don't remember what I used. Here is a link to this file:

LP file

when you click the link just choose to save to disk. This is an IGES file...your dad should be able to open this. Here are a couple of pics of the LP I built from this file.

th_P1010101.jpg

th_P1010100.jpg

th_P1010099.jpg

th_P1010485.jpg

th_P1010486.jpg

The body outline is right on the money of a standard LP. The carve is my own creation and is a little more extreme than a regular LP. I did not include the neck pocket in this file...I varied from the standard LP and I didn't want to confuse anyone.

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Not to sound mean, but how much experience does your dad have with this stuff. I work in a machine shop and deal with engineers all the time. What they say can be done and what can be done in reality are usually pretty different. I run SolidWorks all the time but have never had the training on contouring like you would use for a Les Paul top. Depending on what types of products your dad works with, he may have not been trained in this type of design work, so it might be something difficult for him to do. if he has been trained in curved contours, then he should be just fine.

Also, does he do work in a metal shop. I have access to 5 axis cnc mills, but would never think of taking one of my pieces of lumber near them. They are covered in oil and cooling fluid as well as steel chips. These are all things that can very quickly ruin a project by causing flaws in the finish.

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my dad is an optical/mechanical engineer, so he makes microscope and the stuff you see on shows like CSI. the company he works for specializes in spectroscopy, so he has a lot of machines that are precise down to the .0001 of an inch. I'm pretty sure he can handle the guitar, he's been doing this stuff for many years. Also, if he has trouble he has many colleagues, and also works with many different machine shops he could get some help with.

(none of the machines have oil all over them, well maybe the drill presses, but not the CNC)

size neck is it designed for?

thanks

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my dad is an optical/mechanical engineer, so he makes microscope and the stuff you see on shows like CSI. the company he works for specializes in spectroscopy, so he has a lot of machines that are precise down to the .0001 of an inch. I'm pretty sure he can handle the guitar, he's been doing this stuff for many years. Also, if he has trouble he has many colleagues, and also works with many different machine shops he could get some help with.

(none of the machines have oil all over them, well maybe the drill presses, but not the CNC)

size neck is it designed for?

thanks

I used the standard gibson fretboard from Stew mac. The one that is not quite 24.75 for scale length (I can't remember what the exact decimal is). I used a custom neck design for my guitar....I can throw that file out as well if you want. Here ya go: http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/82884/LP%20NECK.IGS. I used a 4 degree neck angle and that worked out pretty good with my tune-o-matic bridge....YMMV. Please make sure you do the proper calculations for your bridge.

Phil...thanks for the compliments....I have a fairly decent PRS custom surface as well...Let me know if you want to play with it.

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my dad is an optical/mechanical engineer, so he makes microscope and the stuff you see on shows like CSI. the company he works for specializes in spectroscopy, so he has a lot of machines that are precise down to the .0001 of an inch. I'm pretty sure he can handle the guitar, he's been doing this stuff for many years. Also, if he has trouble he has many colleagues, and also works with many different machine shops he could get some help with.

(none of the machines have oil all over them, well maybe the drill presses, but not the CNC)

size neck is it designed for?

thanks

Sounds like your covred pretty well then. Just wanted to make sure you had all of your bases covered. Some people never think about the not so obvious problems, such as coolant on the machines, and wanted to make sure the machines he has access to are acceptable. Good Luck with the build.

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I hear ya Ihocky2. The cnc machine I use is normally used for metal. If I am using it for guitar stuff I have to go through and clean everything up. It can really be a pain. I have been fortunate though, the couple of drips I have encountered (when I didn't take the time to clean up properly) have sanded out.

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