Easy Guitar Drawing for Custom Guitar Bodies, Part 1 [CNC / CAD Project]

Need a guitar drawing so you can CNC a custom electric guitar body?

Me too!  Ever since I got in our new Shapeoko CNC Router Kit, I’ve been thinking about what projects I want to build with it.  Custom electric guitars are very high on the list.  And a little DIY CNC Router like this one is the perfect tool for it.

It’s easier than you’d think.  In fact, I’ll show you in a quick video what to do:

Check out the video…

Step 1: Gather Your Photos

The method I am using is to trace an outline of the guitar body by tracing over an image.  I have a whole collection of guitar images over on my Pinterest page:

Pinterest is a great scrapbook for collecting your ideas before diving into a project.

Step 2:  Import and Trace

Once you have a nice collection of photos, the next step is to import them into your CAD software and trace.  You can get software that will try to automatically trace an image, but this is simple enough that you’ll get faster better results by hand.  Most CAD will let you put a bitmap image in the background.  Choose one that’s a good top view without any visible distortion from being off angle.  The two full guitars in the Pinterest screen shot above are perfect.

Display them in CAD, select your curve tool (also called “splines”), and start tracing the guitar body outline.  When the curves are changing quickly, you’ll need a lot of dots to track the profile.  When they change slowly, the dots can be further apart.  It takes me no more than 5 minutes to get a good tracing.  I’ve been collecting them in my Rhino3D CAD file so I have a variety to choose and start from on my electric guitar projects:

Easy Guitar Drawing for Custom Guitar Bodies, Part 1 [CNC / CAD Project]

As I mention in the video, I also do an outline of the neck pocket to ensure I know how it aligns with the guitar body.

Step 3:  Clean Up / Redesign

Once you have the outline, you have considerable control.  Whether you want to clean up a mistake you made or even do a redesign to change the look of the guitar body, it’s all possible and a lot easier if you can start with a decent outline!

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch the rest of this video series.

[ Freebie:  Guitar Body Outlines DXF File ]

[ Part 2 in the series ]

 

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