Making guitars either by hand or with CNC requires lot of technical drawings and accurate calculations, most of the time it implies repetitive and tedious math. Apart from the artistic part of the design (ie. Body Shape, Headstock Shape, Inlays, etc..), technical parts can be described in terms of general parameters like Scale, Bridge height, neck angle, etc… Required calculations are not difficult but boring and repetitive. We can just define the parameters and get the tech drawings ready to print/cut with the help of some Parametric drawing software.
If you can afford expensive CAD software to design your guitars, you can do parametric designs at some extent. Even with FreeCAD you can use python to create parameterized drawings, but as those tools are for general purpose CAD drawings, it will be not as easy as it sounds. If you are using vector drawing programs like Inkscape or Ilustrator, there are very limited scripting options and you have to learn the proprietary API and deal with the programming. Advanced commercial software like Solidworks, Autodesk, etc.. are powerful but also expensive and have hard learning curves.
Another popular option is to work with large Spreadsheets to do all the Math, then you have to translate your results to your drawings. This process is annoying, time consuming and error prone.
There are also a lot of online calculators and utilities to help with math and to a little extent with tech drawings, but up to this days (2019) there is no single complete parametric tool for all the required calculations to build a standard electric guitar.
I am a self teaching apprentice on guitar making, but also I have broad experience in software development, so I decided to create something new, my goal is to create a software to design guitars, the goal is ambitious but I can start with few features and continue adding modules over the time, at some point in the future the product will model all technical aspects of the guitar making process.
- Fully online product. Not installation required.
- Parametric: Oriented to parameters and not to drawing. Drawings must be an output.
- Based on SVG: Svg is web friendly and it can be imported to most drawing/cad software.
- Modular: I do this in my spare time, so I want to be able to release small modules over the time instead of big releases.
- Desktop first: It is hard to design things in cell phones. I only care for big screens.
- Community: I want to create a community where we can share/find designs and also discus ideas for new modules.
The initial idea was to create the software for my own use, then I decided to publish it so it can be used by the community of guitar makers. Also I realized that I can use the site to share any useful resource around guitar making: Jigs, Tutorials, Pictures, Suppliers, Tools, etc…
Please be aware of that this project is a work in progress and it is in a very early stage. Only two modules are released up to today: Fretboard module and Neck Side Profile Module. If you have any comments/suggestions please use the Forum.