I just ordered my Woodworker this week. I have designed my own solid body electric guitars that I would like to prototype with this machine. Anyone here who may offer software advice concerning CAD/CAM software, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve done some G Code programming in my past, but it would take me forever to attempt to do this by hand and I’m really in need of advice. I don’t even mind shelling out $1000 to $1500 if absolutely necessary, but would rather spend the money than waste more time. Any advice?
Go with VCarvePro. It’s the best cadcam software for woodworking available. You tell it what you want it to do and it will write the gcode for you. Aspire is an upgrade for 3D design.
Thanks so much for your input! Can you perform the 3D Modeling within VCarve Pro? Or, do you use another CAD program to draw and then import that model into VCare Pro?
This is something I have been struggling with.
I have used mostly vector based CAD programs. I am used to Solidworks but since I can’t afford it I switche to Fusion 360. (As others here have patiently heard my whining.)
But for 3d modeling - if you want carved tops and such - the apparent way to go is a NURBS modeling system. Rhino3d is apparently the way to go. Suhr uses Rhino. I downloaded a trial and it made my brains sound like a Pepsi can opening. It is just so different from what I am used to.
So my plan is to finish building my CNC and then dig back into Rhino Study. Look up Highline or Helix Guitar videos on YT,
VCarvePro does not create 3D but it does import 3D files so you can do a lot with it. I am still learning all it h as to offer which is a lot. At some point I plan to upgrade to Aspire and create my own 3D files . Pro integrates 3D files well and has a fair share of 3D clipart that comes with it. Enough to keep me busy with what I have.
From what I’ve read I plan on using VCarve Pro then when I’m comfortable move upon to Aspire for the 3D stuff. Until then, I’ll be doing the solid body & drop top shaping by hand. Looking forward to what I learn.
Been following what people have been making in the FB group.
(1) Guitar Building With CNC | Groups | Facebook Some really great guitars made.
My 1F won’t arrive until late May but I intend to make guitars with it as well!
I use Fusion 360 and think it’s damn near perfect for guitar modeling. I haven’t used Rhino but have seen/heard that it does do great at more specialty surfaces. Fusion 360 has CAM built-in as well. The free version has some limitations but still plenty powerful.
I wrote a plug-in for Fusion 360 called Guitar Engine that will generate a fretboard and body/headstock blanks depending on your inputs. You can find it here. GitHub - BradAndersonJr/GuitarEngine: Fusion 360 Guitar Generation Add-in
I also did a few tutorials (though a little dated now) on modeling a neck in Fusion 360.
Lastly, there’s a growing Facebook group with currently over 2000 members dedicated to Fusion 360 and lutherie that can offer plenty of support! I can’t add the 3rd link because I’m a new member here but search for Fusion 360 Luthiers.
Brad I am about to automate my guitar building process a bit. (Hobby) Do you have experience with any Vectric products? I am wondering if Fusion 360 that much better than Vectric Vcarve Pro or Aspire? I’m still waiting for my CNC, and was about to start the tutorial sessions for Vectric. I am trying to NOT have to learn two applications.
Any feed back is appreciated.
I’ve personally never used any programs by Vectric. I am heavily considering VCarve Desktop once I get my 1FW. I don’t know of anyone who has used Vectric for more than fretboard work. I’ve been using Fusion 360 for 4-4.5 years now, mostly focusing on guitars and I think it’s an incredible program for lutherie. It’s definitely tricky to dive into and wrap your head around, but I promise you it’s worth the investment of effort and time!
If you have any questions let me know! =D
Thanks for the input. I’m a hobbyist at best. So my out of pocket is pure expense.
I’m not a fan of a reoccurring $495 annual fee for Fusion 360. May I ask, as an Autodesk user, why are you even considering VCarve Desktop?
You can use Fusion 360 for free as a hobbyist. Autodesk makes this info harder to find these days but there definitely is a free version available (with limitations, but none that I have encountered that hinder my ability to make guitars with it.)
My thought process on considering VCarve is from what I’ve heard and seen it seems to really excel at signage and similar 2Dish projects. I’ll have to download the trial and play around with it and see if it truly offers more ease over Fusion 360 for these projects.