For my piecing it together final I decided to build guitar # 2. This time I was adamant about designing the body in Fusion 360, and not having to pipe the design into Vector Works. I feel like I have more control over the intricacies of the design in Fusion. I also designed the pickguard in Fusion 360, alongside the guitar body, so I don’t have to deal with the crazy geometry and measurements of it separately. I cut a prototype of the pickguard first, on the 75 watt laser cutter. The file was a DXF file exported into illustrator. The wood is basswood, although the intended material is acrylic. It came out really good, actually. The drawing on the pickguard is a work by Elizabeth White. But after the body was cut, I realized the measurements were off. The pickup holes were also too big. I’m still working on making the measurements right.
Fusion 360 Sketch.
Elizabeth White’s Drawing.
Again, I had trouble in the CAM in Fusion 360, so I exported the DXF file from Fusion to Illustrator. Then I ran the Illustrator file into the CAD. I also had some trouble with the CAD. The first cut on foam only cut the pockets.
So back to the CAD.. to get all my pockets and contours right.
Then to the CNC…
Although the back edge of the guitar got cut off, I’m happy with my foam prototype.
Here, you can see that the pickguard doesn’t fit into the bevels I made for it on the body so that it would be flush with the surface of the body.
Here is the wood body right after it got cut. The edges are harsh, but it looks right.
Guitar body after sanding. I sanded it down with a 150 grit first, to round out the edges. Then I went to 600 grit to smooth the wood out.
The pickguard will be a double sided mirror made out of acrylic, but for now it’s cardboard.
And the body will be wood, not foam.
But this is what it will look like when it’s done.
For my Piecing it Together midterm I decided to build a guitar body. My only experience with guitars before this, besides playing them, was designing a semi hollow body guitar, as well as taking various solid body electrics apart with hopes of putting them back together. Most of the time I failed to put them back together properly.
I wanted to finally build a guitar from scratch (save for the neck.) I bought a used neck on ebay, as well as a chunk of basswood for the body of the guitar. My plans were to make an obtuse triangle guitar body, but when I received the body in the mail I quickly realized that the dimensions of the wood wouldn’t afford me the space to make it, but I still wanted something very angular.
I started sketching on paper first and then moved into Fusion 360 to do the final sketch. I went through 4 or 5 iterations/attempts on Fusion, and I was successful in making something I am proud of. I hit a wall, however, when it was time to create a dxf file to send it to the cam. I also had a hard time going into the cam mode in Fusion, primarily because the metric kept going to millimeters, even after I changed it to inches. I finally ended up making a sketch in Vectorworks, which is a harder tool than Fusion to design, but afforded me easier traffic between program to G code.
I used a 1/2 inch straight bit on basswood on the CNC. When the cut was done I realized I forgot to outline the neck pocket on the CAM. I changed the file, left the slab of wood on the CNC and decided to recut it. Big Mistake. I made sure to readjust the X Y and Z coordinates to the proper 0 position but it ended up being off by a hair. The result is that once the router started its path it started chipping away at the bottom corner of the guitar, eventually destroying the whole tip of it. It also cut through some of the body, which made my dimensions smaller, a consequence that really effected the neck pocket size. I decided to cut the tip off on the circular saw and sand away the difference of the edges. The result is not exactly what I hoped for, but I managed to save it. The neck pocket can be sanded down to fit the neck better, but I plan on cutting another piece of wood again anyway.
Original Sketch by hand.
Fusion 360 Sketch.
Vectorworks Final Sketch.
18 x 14 x 1.75 Basswood on the CNC
Dimos and I started off with a very rough prototype made out of cardboard. Our main challenge was getting a good fit on the slots of the vertical panels that line the outer shell, as well as getting a good angle on the bottom of the panels, so the box could have stability.
We then drew all the 2-d pieces on Illustrator. Again, the main challenge here was getting those slit measurements right, and it took a few tries in the laser printer to get it right. They were either too tight or too loose. Finally, we opted for the looser fit as it gave more flexibility in putting the box together.
This is what we used to cut all the pieces on the laser cutter.
The main challenge of using the laser cutter was to get the speed levels right. The wood kept catching fire, so we kept bumping up the speed and finally, after three rotations, the wood finally cut through.
On the laser cutter we used these numbers:
This is the final product:
We used hot glue to stick the panels together, which ended up being a double edge because of the same reason, how fast it dried. Some of the angles of the panels could be more accurate, and that was a direct consequence of poor planning in the assembly process. I am very happy with the design, however. The sphere shape, combined with the modular design gives the piece an organic, yet modern feel.
Dimos and I decided to make a ball box. The skeleton will consist of a “vertebra” made out of circles with scoops in them that will then fit the outer shell, made of half moons going around the vertebra.
half moon skeleton
Interaction between half moon and vertebra.
The way it will look from the outside.
I chose probably the most unusual object in my house, a mate gourd made out of a calf”s foot, from Uruguay.