The D-ROC Bass Guitar, 3 Axis

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Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars (Saskatoon, SK Canada) is one of the pioneers in the development of today’s multi-scale fan fret electric bass guitar. Sheldon was a player from a very young age, first learning the piano at age 5, drums and then guitar at age 12! But Sheldon didn’t stop there. He decided to build his own guitar in his uncle’s cabinet shop where he learned the critical woodworking skills from a master craftsman. 

The VisualCAM Project

The VisualCAD/CAM project chosen for this case study is the CNC machined body of the Dingwall D-ROC electric bass guitar in its standard configuration. This is one of three ready-to-play guitar models from the Dingwall line. See more electric bass guitars in the Dingwall line further on in this article What sets this VisualCAD/CAM part file apart from other 3 Axis machining jobs is that only one 3D surface is required. Both the top and back are 3D contoured. It is used to define the sculpted top face of the D-ROC body. The remaining geometry are 2D and 3D curves. These curves are used to drive each of the 2½ Axis and 3 Axis toolpaths used to complete the machining job. The VisualCAD/CAM part file is shown below. The 3D contour surface is colored in deep violet. The remaining geometry curves are black and the stock definition is shown transparent. 
The VisualCAD/CAM part file for the Dingwall D-ROC electric bass guitar body. The Machining Job tree and Tool Library are shown on the left of the display. The quad viewport shows the Top, Front, Side and Isometric view of the D-ROC body geometry.

The Machining Job & Setup

The VisualCAM Machining Job for the Dingwall D-ROC body consists of one 3 Axis setup output to the Fadal 88Hs post processor. The Stock is defined as an extrusion of the outer perimeter curve, defined as “Regions Stock” in the Machining Job tree. The actual stock material for this project is Khaya, also known as African Mahogany. The setup consists of 5 MOpSets (Machining Operation Sets). Each set contains multiple machining operations grouped by tool definition and other factors.  The first MOpSet contains 3 Axis rough and finish MOps (Machining Operations) for the upper contoured face of the Dingwall D-ROC body. The remaining MOpSets contain operations for the 2½ Axis roughing, pre-finishing and finishing toolpaths used to complete the machining job. The Machining Job tree, stock and completed cut material simulations are shown below. 
The Dingwall D-ROC body from stock (upper) to completed Machining Job (lower) The Dingwall D-ROC body in the VisualCAM Machining Job containing 5 MOpSets of toolpath operations.
Here are the VisualCAM operation types used to machine the Dingwall D-ROC body.

Body Rough & Finish

The first MOpSet in the Machining Job contains tool path strategies to rough and finish the top sculpted face of the D-ROC body. It starts off with 2½ Axis Engraving, followed with 3 Axis Roughing and Finishing and then 2½ Axis Profiling. You can refer to the descriptions and illustrations below: A. 2½ Axis Engraving is used to machine a bevel in three areas of the body using a 38mm diameter 45-degree Vee mill. In engraving the tip of the cutter follows the selected geometry. In this case 3D curves. B. 3 Axis Horizontal Roughing is used to remove excess material from the stock of African Mahogany using a 25.4mm diameter flat end mill, climb cut direction, a stock allowance of 1mm and stepover of 50% of the tool diameter. In 3 Axis the visible 3D sculpted surface of the D-ROC body is used to calculate the toolpath. C. 3 Axis Parallel Finishing operation is used to remove the remaining 1mm of stock using a 38mm diameter x 6mm corner radius mill, a mixed cut direction and stepover of 1mm for an excellent surface finish. D. The final operation in this MOpSet is a 2½ Axis Profiling operation to cut the outer perimeter of the body that follows the 2D planar perimeter curve using a 19mm diameter flat end mill and a climb cut direction. One cut level at 44mm deep cuts the perimeter in one pass. 
We hope you enjoyed reading about this cool project as much we did writing it! We also want to extend a very special thanks to Sheldon Dingwall and his team at Dingwall Guitars for allowing us to share their phenomenal success story! Sheldon Dingwall is the winner of the 2018 SABEX Entrepreneur of the Year, Dinwall Guitars also received the 2017 SABEX Business of the Year and Exported of the Year! Congratulations to Sheldon and his great team at Dingwall Guitars!
Cool project Sheldon!
Thank you for allowing us to showcase your work!

More D-ROCS!

We couldn’t let you go before proudly showing off more D-ROC electric basses from Dingwall Guitars. Here are just a few pics and reviews. Be sure to visit Dingwall Guitars at the social media links provided below! D-ROC Enjoy!

More Shop Pics from Dingwall Guitars!

Dingwall Guitars has now manufactured over 20,000 electric bass guitars each a work of art, craftsmanship and companionship! Here are some additional pics from the shop at Dingwall Guitars.

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Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse

Don LaCourse is an Application Engineer with MecSoft Corporation. Don brings over 20 years of experience in CAD/CAM operations in both automotive and mold design applications. Don also has extensive experience in documenting CAD/CAM products and is actively involved with writing the on-line help as well as creating training tutorials for MecSoft's products.

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