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A 3d printed headless bass ...


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Posted (edited)

After a bit of thought, my next project is a headless bass. I was kindly given some headless bass parts by a Basschatter, I'll not mention who it unless they want me to.

 

The original V1 3d printed bass is basically finished apart from the finish which is currently progressing at the cube root of sweet F. A. Every time time I test a finish out, it looks worse than when I started, so thats progressing very slowly. A body (plastic not human) is sitting in the garage having a lot of sanding done to it.

 

So I thought about the next thing to do, and decided that the headless bass can't be that difficult (stop laughing at the back there).

 

Even though I spent a long time thinking about the bass guitar I still made loads and loads of mistakes so the headless bass has exactly zero parts carried over. The design is completely different and nothing apart from the bolt hole sizes are carried over.

 

The V1 bass guitar could be described as outside design-in whereas the headless bass is designed from the middle-out. The shape of the guitar isn't fixed at this time, but is likely to be fender jazz ish but that could change quickly.  The core of the design is the aluminium backbone of which everything hangs. This is the change in design philosophy. Its like a monocoque car chassis on which things such as wheels and suspension are hung. Doesn't sound like a big change but it is :)

 

image.png.c77d3d36a0e60352eebfa1b08052d4ea.png

 

So it could be a Fender Jazz (slighly lengthed to handle the headless bridge)

 

image.png.d4debce950252e90454bed387e1f11cf.png

 

or a Thunderbird

 

image.thumb.png.cf9fbda2d7a7dd68dfab4e11c5b6fda7.png

 

Or something really weird

 

image.png.324281a541012fa70e6176d58844e6bf.png

 

 

 

These are the first bits printed up as a proof of concept

 

IMG_2482.thumb.JPG.599806a70d81dbe3e43f7eba2a2e137e.JPG

 

The intention is to have the bridge, bridge plate, neck plate and heal plate at least printed by end of this week, which will be tight, but lets see.

 

The headless bridge adds about 30mm extra behind the bridge, hence the design needs tweaking a little. The upside is that I now can easily create SVG files for the outline as I spent some time understanding outline tracing and upgraded my Affinity Designer to V2.

Edited by rwillett
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At last!

 

Status, Sei, and Hohner have bodies which are cut away for the tuner access, with strap buttons either side, enabling you to stand the bass up without bothering about a stand. That might be worth considering.

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@tauzero That sounds a lot more complicated than I had thought about TBH.


I know this looks similar but 
 

1. It's a wholly different philosophy and design. I know this sounds a bit trite but it's a blank sheet of paper start. 

2. It will accommodate different pickups that attach to the body rather than hanging from a pickguard. 
 

3. I'll use a mixture of glue and bolts. This should mean I can change the body shape relatively easily. 
 

4. The build will change to make it easier which should/might/won't make finishing a bit easier. This might be complete bollox as the finishing is now seriously annoying me as I can't make it look good. When I say seriously annoying me, I'm furious TBH. 

 

5. There's lots of changes to reduce printing time and reduce printing waste. 

 

6. Changed the way the neck attaches to simplify and allow it to be changed. 

 

Let's see if any of this works 

 

Rob

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rwillett said:

So I thought about the next thing to do, and decided that the headless bass can't be that difficult (stop laughing at the back there).

 

I made one from a 2x4 so I concur it's not all that hard (Tho it was fretless without a truss rod ... but sounded fab!)

 

BTW, those Nova tuners (You lucky chap!) I bought a set of five for my next bass ... which at present might not be completed till 2040!

 

Sam x

Edited by SamIAm
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16 hours ago, SamIAm said:

I made one from a 2x4 so I concur it's not all that hard (Tho it was fretless without a truss rod ... but sounded fab!)

 

BTW, those Nova tuners (You lucky chap!) I bought a set of five for my next bass ... which at present might not be completed till 2040!

 

Sam x

 

I'll help you get it done before then, 8:30pm at the lastest :)

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16 hours ago, SamIAm said:

I made one from a 2x4 so I concur it's not all that hard (Tho it was fretless without a truss rod ... but sounded fab!)

 

BTW, those Nova tuners (You lucky chap!) I bought a set of five for my next bass ... which at present might not be completed till 2040!

 

Sam x

How is Planky 2 coming on Samian?

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Just weighed the headless neck and an Aria Pro neck with Hipshot tuners.

 

Headless neck (without any string locks) = 750g

Aria STB-II with 4x Hopshots = 1050g

 

So 300g lighter but need to add in the string lock, approx 75g, so headless apporx 225g lighter. Since most of the 225g is at the end as well, thats a reasonable saving in weight and angular momentum.

 

Rob

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23 hours ago, tauzero said:

Status, Sei, and Hohner have bodies which are cut away for the tuner access, with strap buttons either side, enabling you to stand the bass up without bothering about a stand. That might be worth considering.

 

These solutions look fine but fall over (pun intended) the moment you use locking strap buttons, which Sei actually fit as standard.

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16 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

These solutions look fine but fall over (pun intended) the moment you use locking strap buttons, which Sei actually fit as standard.

 

I'll have a look at those but I'm favouring simplcity over functionality. TBH I've no idea how to make them standup without stands and for me, thats functionality I don't need.

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Nope, I got a Gorilla stand or two.

 

As I also have two more or less feral daughters, two rescue cats and a wild dog as well, vases and knick-knacks are long gone.

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Posted (edited)

I can’t say I blame her tbh, though if she bit your playing hand you wouldn’t be able to torment her ears any longer, so a big win there to be had 

 

 

you are aware that forcing a child to listen to “old music” is tantamount to “poor, inhumane or degrading treatment” as defined by the UN? 

Edited by Geek99
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Posted (edited)

My eldest is heavily into Oasis, Nirvana, Beatles, Blur, Artic Monkeys, The Pretty Reckless. She was somewhat miffed that I had even heard of Nirvana, much less that a friend of mine played with them in 91 in Reading (?). He got them to sign his bass and then sold it a few years ago for quite a lot of money, sensible man.

 

The youngest is more pop orientated. So I have no idea what she listens to as it sounds the same to me. I am my father.

 

Anyway, progress on the headless bass is good. After spending far too long with the Fusion 360 Vontori generator and giving up, I used an online SVG version which is far quicker and easier than the one for Fusion 360. See https://voronoi-editor.web.app

 

Redesigned the bridge holder to have a cut away for access to the Nova bridge, redesigned the Jazz style body outline for the same. Printed off the bridge adapter and am now printing the two central parts of the guitar. Those are the bits in dirty white below. They'll be finished around 21:30 and then will print off one half of the drill guide for the aluminium backbone and the guitar neck holder. The drill guide makes sure I don'lt cock things up.

 

I've reduced the width of the backbone from 80mm to 60mm to try and get the total weight down to under 4Kg. The backbone is in the wood colour below, though it's aluminium.

 

image.png.ce0c4d8f10847ee8554a1831a255c09e.png

 

Still need to think about the control panel and splitting down the frame outline, this is the body that sits on the central monocoque. You can see the mounting holes, there's probably too many but rather too many, than too few.  I do not know Finate State Analysis to work out stress and load. I did pure maths and never sullied myself with real numbers or even real world maths.

 

image.png.21266e436f802aaa328969b21d7ede3c.png

 

The limits now are the size of the print bed, so I've effectively 200mmx200mm chunks to print out. It looks like there are six chunks to be printed, they have to overlap as I need to join them.  Each chunk is probably 12-18 hours :( If anybody can get this down to five chunks with an overlap, I'll send you a decent bottle of white as that saves a lot of time. The main advantage here is that most of the chunk are simple printing with no embedded nuts so I can start printing and forget. I'll probably draw up a timetable to try and get this done for next Friday :)

 

image.png.6bce3f9996cf0457afccdb320dd16f51.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by rwillett
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A question for the more skilled builders here (thats not me).

 

Is there a maths relationship between the height of the nut and the top of the bridge where the strings will lie?

 

The neckless head I have is 28.5mm thick at the centre of the end of the heal. The other two necks are 27.5mm at the same point so within 0.75mm which is pretty close. Clearly if the neck was 15mm thick it would be far too low, also if it was 40mm thick, it would be too high. So what should it be? I can easily move the neck up and down in the heal module by either printing it differently. I can extrude the blue area below plus or minus a few mm with a couple of key strokes. Printing it at a decent resolution will take around 12 hours though. I can also print shims to go under the neck or under the bridge. which would be the first check.

 

image.png.cd9b48a7f01745fcd35e85fb045dbf68.png

I have a large 120mm spirit level which is the longest flat thing in the house (apart from my wit). If I put the spirit level on the neck nut and get it just right on the bridge, I can see that the gap between the bottom of the spirt level is around 6mm at the 14th fret (or so) and tapers up to almost nothing at the neck. Should it be higher, lower, it doesn't matter so long as its about right as there's a little bit of vertical travel on the bridge and can use the tension rod in the neck? The Nova bridge is significantly higher than the BBOT on my basses so not sure what to do here.

 

IMG_2488.thumb.JPG.003f677d87d39302e4fdb6c864c6cffe.JPG

 

Any help or advice welcomed.

 

 

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On 07/05/2024 at 16:52, BigRedX said:

 

These solutions look fine but fall over (pun intended) the moment you use locking strap buttons, which Sei actually fit as standard.

 

I've got locking strap buttons on my Seis and they stand up perfectly happily, albeit at a slight slant when the strap is fitted.

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On 07/05/2024 at 17:09, rwillett said:

 

I'll have a look at those but I'm favouring simplcity over functionality. TBH I've no idea how to make them standup without stands and for me, thats functionality I don't need.

 

They rest on the two strap buttons and you lean them against something solid - a wall, amp, drummer, etc. This is the Seis propped up against the stands that they normally live on.

 

standless_seis.thumb.jpg.d1bba768847bca58a02f6ba329c0ea34.jpg

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On 07/05/2024 at 18:47, rwillett said:

One plays jazz sax and is quite good, the other plays flute and no matter how much Jethro Tull I play, she refuses to bite...

 

Those are pretty impressive rescue cats.

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19 hours ago, rwillett said:

My eldest is heavily into Oasis, Nirvana, Beatles, Blur, Artic Monkeys, The Pretty Reckless. She was somewhat miffed that I had even heard of Nirvana, much less that a friend of mine played with them in 91 in Reading (?). He got them to sign his bass and then sold it a few years ago for quite a lot of money, sensible man.

 

The youngest is more pop orientated. So I have no idea what she listens to as it sounds the same to me. I am my father.

 

Anyway, progress on the headless bass is good. After spending far too long with the Fusion 360 Vontori generator and giving up, I used an online SVG version which is far quicker and easier than the one for Fusion 360. See https://voronoi-editor.web.app

 

Redesigned the bridge holder to have a cut away for access to the Nova bridge, redesigned the Jazz style body outline for the same. Printed off the bridge adapter and am now printing the two central parts of the guitar. Those are the bits in dirty white below. They'll be finished around 21:30 and then will print off one half of the drill guide for the aluminium backbone and the guitar neck holder. The drill guide makes sure I don'lt cock things up.

 

I've reduced the width of the backbone from 80mm to 60mm to try and get the total weight down to under 4Kg. The backbone is in the wood colour below, though it's aluminium.

 

image.png.ce0c4d8f10847ee8554a1831a255c09e.png

 

Still need to think about the control panel and splitting down the frame outline, this is the body that sits on the central monocoque. You can see the mounting holes, there's probably too many but rather too many, than too few.  I do not know Finate State Analysis to work out stress and load. I did pure maths and never sullied myself with real numbers or even real world maths.

 

image.png.21266e436f802aaa328969b21d7ede3c.png

 

The limits now are the size of the print bed, so I've effectively 200mmx200mm chunks to print out. It looks like there are six chunks to be printed, they have to overlap as I need to join them.  Each chunk is probably 12-18 hours :( If anybody can get this down to five chunks with an overlap, I'll send you a decent bottle of white as that saves a lot of time. The main advantage here is that most of the chunk are simple printing with no embedded nuts so I can start printing and forget. I'll probably draw up a timetable to try and get this done for next Friday :)

 

image.png.6bce3f9996cf0457afccdb320dd16f51.png

 

 

 

 

 

Would you be able to print the two centre pieces in one print, perhaps by rotating the top right square through 90 degrees clockwise to increase the length of the bottom rail included in that part and moving the bottom right square to the left to minimise the size of the bottom middle?

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1 hour ago, rwillett said:

A question for the more skilled builders here (thats not me).

 

Is there a maths relationship between the height of the nut and the top of the bridge where the strings will lie?

 

The neckless head I have is 28.5mm thick at the centre of the end of the heal. The other two necks are 27.5mm at the same point so within 0.75mm which is pretty close. Clearly if the neck was 15mm thick it would be far too low, also if it was 40mm thick, it would be too high. So what should it be? I can easily move the neck up and down in the heal module by either printing it differently. I can extrude the blue area below plus or minus a few mm with a couple of key strokes. Printing it at a decent resolution will take around 12 hours though. I can also print shims to go under the neck or under the bridge. which would be the first check.

 

image.png.cd9b48a7f01745fcd35e85fb045dbf68.png

I have a large 120mm spirit level which is the longest flat thing in the house (apart from my wit). If I put the spirit level on the neck nut and get it just right on the bridge, I can see that the gap between the bottom of the spirt level is around 6mm at the 14th fret (or so) and tapers up to almost nothing at the neck. Should it be higher, lower, it doesn't matter so long as its about right as there's a little bit of vertical travel on the bridge and can use the tension rod in the neck? The Nova bridge is significantly higher than the BBOT on my basses so not sure what to do here.

 

IMG_2488.thumb.JPG.003f677d87d39302e4fdb6c864c6cffe.JPG

 

Any help or advice welcomed.

 

 

 

Have you got a flat neck to start with? It sounds like you have a lot of relief in it unless I'm misinterpreting you.

 

Basically, you have two shapes to consider here. There's the section between bridge and the neck fixings furthest away from it (the neck bolts closest to the unheadstock), and the very long thin triangle between those neck fixings and the nut. The height of the bridge at its lowest should correspond with the height of the neck and fretboard (so the strings would rest flat on the fretboard if the bridge height was minimised). The long thin triangle needs to be angled such that the strings would lie flat on the fretboard if you hold them down at the first fret.

 

If you need to work out the thickness of a shim, you can do that by considering the positions of the shim S and the fixings about which the neck will effectively pivot P (the bolts furthest from the bridge if you're putting a shim in at the bridge end to lower the nut end, the bolts closest to the bridge if you're putting a shim in at the other end to raise the nut). Then given the nut position N, the ratio NP:PS is also the ratio of thickness of the shim to the height by which the nut is to move (similar triangles). I think, anyway, my own pure maths O-levels were over 50 years ago.

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29 minutes ago, tauzero said:

 

They rest on the two strap buttons and you lean them against something solid - a wall, amp, drummer, etc. This is the Seis propped up against the stands that they normally live on.

 

standless_seis.thumb.jpg.d1bba768847bca58a02f6ba329c0ea34.jpg

 

OK, understand now. I can see what you mean. I'll have a think about it. never needed it so far, but it's interesting to see it done.

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