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JEH Guitars goes from Art to Part with T-Splines and RhinoCAM

The customer

JEH Guitars is a designer and manufacturer of custom guitars headquartered in Denmark.


“T-Splines and RhinoCAM together add incredible value to my design and manufacturing process. With T-Splines, I can create free-form surface models for my guitars so fast that even one-piece orders can be CNC manufactured. And, because RhinoCAM is fully integrated in Rhino together with T-Splines, any design change I make automatically updates all my toolpaths with a single click.”
- Jens Hvidberg, Owner

Case Study

The challenge

JEH Guitars is a small one-man company in Denmark. The owner, Jens Hvidberg, has been designing and manufacturing custom instruments since 2000. Most of his guitars are unique individual pieces, so 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, Jens had created many of the guitar bodies by hand and he was always on the lookout for an inexpensive set of CAD and CAM tools to make the process faster and more efficient.

The solution

Rieragasso Elements Water Ring Rhino provided Jens with an inexpensive CAD platform with all the capabilities of far more expensive commercial applications, and T-Splines and RhinoCAM provided the plugins he needed to fully support the art-to-part process.

A recent project shown at left was for a complete redesign of a 4-string bass into a 5-string bass, with the body cut from a single piece of wood. Using T-Splines, Jens could build a guitar body that could be easily modified and changed. With reference pictures in the background, Jens moved and changed control points on the T-Splines surface until he got exactly the right shape. Final details were then added with standard Rhino features.

With RhinoCAM, it was then easy and fast to generate 3D paths for CNC machining. First, Jens made the paths for the outline with the profiling feature, and also the paths for the pocketing. Throughout the process he kept the shape as regular as possible, to have good fixture points.

The actual machining was done with a 3D roughing operation and then a finishing operation with a ball end mill. The final finish was created with sandpaper by hand.

Future Direction

In general these tools make it possible for my costumers to go from their own design ideas to the finished product, without spending a fortune. My “templates” are not hanging on the wall cut out in plywood, but are in CAD files, and are easy to change and customize.

Learn more

To learn more about how Jens completed his project with the help of T-Splines, you can download the full case study here or on our case studies home page.

To learn more about Rhino, please visit www.rhino3d.com.

To learn more about RhinoCAM, please visit www.rhinocam.com.

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