How do I best make a curved surface with high precision for milling/routing?

Hey all!

I am in the process of making a model of a Gibson Les Paul that I intend to build this fall. Most of the parts will be routed using a Multicam 3000, which means I want to make all those nice curved surfaces  as exact as possible. I dont necessarily need them to be copies of the real thing, but they need to be correct when it comes to fitting the neck, pickups, bridge, and so on. 
Which would be the best way to do this? Should i make a surface and freehand the points to the correct height in Z? Would it be possible to make a height map (in photoshop or something similar) and use that to displace the surface?

All suggestions are welcome! :-)


Pic to show the surface

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Hi Martin,

what kind of input data have you got? Just pictures, or is there a mesh from a scanner, or even other CAD data?



I have an image of a paper drawing with most of the measurments:

So I'd say simply use _PictureFrame to load the image into Rhino, and then use it as reference for building the outline curves, and later on the final surfaces (extrudes, blends, fillets, etc.)? Or what exactly are you asking for?

I was actually planning to create a video tutorial for building a part of a guitar (request from a customer of our VSR software), but this will take a few more weeks.



I have the reference in Rhino, it is pretty much the top of the guitar body Im concerned with. I dont know how to best make that curved surface: which method do I use?

Can you just post a Rhino file (including the picture) containing a "first shot" surface or marker in the area of your concern?

The yellow lines is my first thought of doing this... kinda dont know where to go from there.

I would use the full body curve and generate a profile curve across the lower bout between the quad points.   Split the body curve at the lower bout quads and do a rail revolve from quad to quad.  Then split the upper portion of the body curve at the midline by the neck and use the profile curve and the split body curves for a a sweep2 surface.  Extrude the full body profile curve downwards with Solid>ExtrudeCurve.  Explode the result and delete the top surface then join the remaining surfaces (sides and the bottom) to the surfaces for the guitar top.  Generate a solid of the correct shape and then use boolean difference to get the finger cut out.  Try to use boolean difference to get all of your notches and pockets.  Stay away from building up with curves and think more in terms of subtracting with solids.




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