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View Full Version : Anyone modeled a guitar for CNC in Lightwave?



Puguglybonehead
02-01-2014, 11:55 PM
Been a long while since I've posted here. Honestly, I've been busy with other things and have kind of let Lightwave slide. (still using 9.6) I have gotten back into luthiery (guitar building) though. I first learned it back in the mid-1980s. Having about 10 guitars under my belt, I am now in the process of building a CNC router of my own design. Now comes the hard part, I need to design models that can be accurate enough to be ready to send to CAM software and get converted to G-code and sent to my machine. I already have the L-script for creating STL files. It's the actual "design for the real world" part that I'm unsure of.

There are a couple of tutorials on designing guitars for CNC in Rhino and SolidWorks, but I really don't feel like learning (or purchasing) new software or tutorials that I might not be able to use. I like Lightwave. I'm comfortable, but somewhat rusty, in Modeler.

I haven't seen any tutorials on solidbody guitar modeling ("F"-style, can't say anymore of their name 'cause they litigate at the drop of a hat ;) ) for Lightwave. I'm mostly concerned with modeling the neck-body joint accurately, as this is the critical point for alignment to get a playable instrument. Going with a completely different body style, etc. I've been doing this stuff with hand tools and power tools for years, but I want to go CAD/CAM to get some form of consistency and repeatability. (and less sawdust in my respirator)

Other than the decidedly expensive strat modeling tutorial at Simply Lightwave, are there any good tutorials on modeling an accurate solidbody guitar in Lightwave?

Has anybody out there got any experience using Lightwave for creating models for CNC? I do also have LWCAD 1.5. I haven't really used it. Would it be helpful in the process?

Surrealist.
02-02-2014, 02:52 AM
Well my subpatch tutorial is not geared toward guitar modeling specifically, but it should give you some ideas.

I modeled a guitar in LightWave using the same techniques. You can see it in my gallery.

If you jump ahead in the LightWiki tutorial to the hammer I discuss how to use Booleans for with Subdivision surface modeling.

http://www.lightwiki.com/wiki/Fundamentals_of_Subpatch_Modeling_Part_Six

119813

For your purposes this is a great way to get accurate placement and joining of parts.

119814

So basically you can join parts together or cut them out to give you the accurate shapes and then go in and add the edge loops.

I have not done anything for 3D printing and so on, but I assume you would then just freeze the subpatching and export the model.

Thomas Helzle
02-05-2014, 09:03 AM
May or may not help you, but if you want a friendly, affordable way to create really accurate models, I can highly recommend MoI:
http://moi3d.com/
The stupid website makes it look like a toy, but it's the most userfriendly NURBS/CAD software I know.
It also is very affordable and works well with other CAD tools as well as having the best NURBS to polygon conversion I know.
While it has a completely different mindset from SubDee/Polygon modelling, it offers a lot for things like a guitar body. You get very accurate booleans for instance, something highly problematic with polygon modelling.
There also is a great and very helpful community in the forum and the developer is ace in helping if you run into problems.
(He's the original developer of Rhino3D, Michael Gibson).

Cheers,

Tom

spherical
02-05-2014, 03:58 PM
I beta tested the pre-release version of MOI and loved it. Once the bugs were squashed it became very fast and flexible. 'Been going to revisit to see what the new version has and get a license. IIRC, the current version does a decent number of CAD file conversions as well.

Thomas Helzle
02-05-2014, 04:15 PM
It's totally brilliant ;-)
(works perfect with Thea Render too, the poly export to obj is great).
Buyers of version 2 get the totally stable beta for version 3 already that has a lot of great additions and improvements.
Converts the most important CAD formats very well, can export to PDF (in version 3), does some amazing deformations...
Looks deceivingly simple on the surface but can really stand on it's own for people who aren't really CAD-compatible :-)
My secret weapon.

Cheers,

Tom

Puguglybonehead
02-11-2014, 06:42 PM
Well my subpatch tutorial is not geared toward guitar modeling specifically, but it should give you some ideas.

I modeled a guitar in LightWave using the same techniques. You can see it in my gallery.

If you jump ahead in the LightWiki tutorial to the hammer I discuss how to use Booleans for with Subdivision surface modeling.

http://www.lightwiki.com/wiki/Fundamentals_of_Subpatch_Modeling_Part_Six

119813

For your purposes this is a great way to get accurate placement and joining of parts.

119814

So basically you can join parts together or cut them out to give you the accurate shapes and then go in and add the edge loops.

I have not done anything for 3D printing and so on, but I assume you would then just freeze the subpatching and export the model.

Thanks! That does look like it will have some application to what I'm trying for. I'll give it a try.

Puguglybonehead
02-11-2014, 06:58 PM
May or may not help you, but if you want a friendly, affordable way to create really accurate models, I can highly recommend MoI:
http://moi3d.com/
The stupid website makes it look like a toy, but it's the most userfriendly NURBS/CAD software I know.
It also is very affordable and works well with other CAD tools as well as having the best NURBS to polygon conversion I know.
While it has a completely different mindset from SubDee/Polygon modelling, it offers a lot for things like a guitar body. You get very accurate booleans for instance, something highly problematic with polygon modelling.
There also is a great and very helpful community in the forum and the developer is ace in helping if you run into problems.
(He's the original developer of Rhino3D, Michael Gibson).

Cheers,

Tom

MoI looks really good! I'd never heard of it before. From the original developer of Rhino? Wow! I do think I'll look into it, if I can't get the results I want from Lightwave. A lot of the serious CNC folks use Rhino. The ones with a lot of cash use Solidworks. MoI looks like a better solution for how I work. (and for my budget, which is currently maxed out on hardware, electronics and tools)
Thanks for the tip!

Ztreem
02-12-2014, 01:28 AM
Usually you want to use Nurbs/solids for CNC work instead of polygons, but it is possible to use polymodels as well. Nurbs is like vector graphics for 2D and Polygons are like bitmap graphics. Nurbs is resolution independent and you get smooth surfaces while polygons gives you facets on you surfaces. So for really smooth surfaces you have to use dense meshes and it will in return make the models heavier and the process longer. It all depends of how much sanding you plan to do after milling. :-)

Surrealist.
02-12-2014, 05:21 AM
That's interesting. You mean the cut machines can read the nurbs directly from the file? I would have thought that the nurbs would have been converted to a polygon mesh when exported to a format it can read. But that just shows my ignorance.

So I suppose the solution to use poly subpatch would then be to model with the manageable resolution, then up it fairly high before freezing it. And you could probably come very close to the nurbs result.

Because you don't have to have a dense cage to have a dense mesh freeze

But on that note when you are doing real detailed cuts on a subD model with a lot of curves, it is good to use a denser mesh to avoid bumps. I cover that at some point in the tutorial.

Ztreem
02-12-2014, 06:43 AM
3D printing usually use polygon models while milling and tooling use nurbs.

Surrealist.
02-12-2014, 04:25 PM
Cool, that's good to know. Thanks.