JEH Guitars is a one-man company in Denmark. Owner, Jens Hvidberg, has been designing and manufacturing custom instruments since 2000. Most of his guitars are unique individual pieces. A design and manufacturing process that is fast, easy to use, and responsive to the exacting demands of his customers is critical.
In the past, Hvidberg created many of the guitar bodies by hand while searching for an inexpensive set of CAD and CAM tools to make the process faster and more efficient. Rhino provided him with CAD software with all the capabilities of more expensive commercial applications. T-Splines and RhinoCAM software were the plug-ins he needed to support the art-to-part process.
A recent project included a redesign of a four-string bass into a five-string version with the body cut from a single piece of wood. Using T-Splines, Hvidberg could build a guitar body that could be easily modified. With reference pictures, he moved and changed control points on the T-Splines surface until he obtained the right shape. Final details were added with standard Rhino features.
Using RhinoCAM, it was easy to generate 3D tool paths for CNC machining. First he made the paths for the outline with the profiling feature and the paths for pocketing. Throughout the process, he kept the shape as regular as possible to maintain good fixture points. Actual machining was done with a 3D roughing operation and a finishing operation with a ball end mill. The final finish was created with sandpaper by hand.
Hvidberg said, “These tools make it possible for my customers to go from their own design ideas to the finished product without investing a lot of money. My templates are not hanging on the wall cut out in plywood but are in CAD files. They are easy to change and customize.