This is a script to automatically generate a conical tapered guitar fingerboard using Google's free 3D design program Sketchup , as well as fret lines and inlay positions. If you want to save the fingerboard as a DXF or STL triangular mesh you can use the DXF & STL exporter plugin . The fret slots are not flat bottomed, but follow the radius of curvature of the fingerboard. In theory this should stop the frets from compressing the fingerboard by being hammered in too far.
Installation instructions using the RBZ format - Sketchup 2015, 2013 (Pro & Make) & any version 8.2 upwards:
Sketchup introduced an easier way to install plugins. Download the RBZ version of the plugin (fretboard.rbz) to your harddrive - it is a zipped file but don't extract it. Then in Sketchup click on the install extensions button. It's found under Preferences > Extensions > Install Extension. Clicking this button will bring up a file browser window where you can can select fretboard.rbz from your hard drive, and SketchUp will then install it for you.
Alternative installation instructions for Sketchup 2015 (Pro & Make) - using the plain ruby file
If using the above method does not work, this is an alternative method which will work on Sketchup 2015. To install the plugin you need to download the plain ruby file above (fretboard.rb) to your Sketchup ShippedExtensions folder.
- On a Windows PC. If you have installed Sketchup on the C: drive then this folder will be at C:\program files\Sketchup\Sketchup 2015\ShippedExtensions.
- On Mac OSX. The sketchup plugins folder is something like /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 2015/SketchUp/Plugins
Alternative installation instructions for Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup 2013 - using the plain ruby file
This is an alternative method which will work on versions including Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup Make (Sketchup 2013).. To install the plugin you need to download the plain ruby file above (fretboard.rb) to your Sketchup plugins folder.
Location of the Sketchup plugins folder, [VERSION] stands for the version number of Sketchup (6, 7, 8 or 2013).
- On a Windows PC. If you have installed Sketchup on the C: drive then this folder will be at C:\program files\google\google sketchup [VERSION]\plugins.
- On Mac OSX. The sketchup plugins folder is /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp [VERSION]/SketchUp/Plugins
Using the fretboard plugin
After copying this file you should now a menu option in the Sketchup's Draw menu to draw a fingerboard.
The script uses a number of parameters which you can change to your needs:
- Scale length: the distance from the nut to the bridge.
- Width at nut: the width of the fretboard at the nut end.
- Radius at nut: the radius of curvature of the fretboard at the nut end.
- Width at body: the width of the fretboard at the body end (usually wider than at the nut end in a tapered fingerboard).
- Radius at body: the radius of curvature of the fretboard at the body end (usually larger than the radius at nut in a conical fingerboard).
- Board thickness: the thickness of the fretboard at its thickest point.
- Number of frets: the number of frets required, this will affect the length of the fretboard.
- Depth of fret-cut: how deep the fret slots cut into the fretboard
- Width of fret-cut: width of the fret slots.
- Width of the nut-slot
- Depth of the nut-slot
The default values are for a Fender strat style fingerboard. This plugin has not been tested extensively, use it at your own risk. Please post in the forum about any problems or suggestions (you don't need to register to post in the forum).
The script creates a flat bottomed nut slot (like in Fender style fingerboards). To omit the nut slot set the width of nut slot parameter to zero.
Fret lines and inlay positions
You can also have the fret positions marked by single lines (perhaps more useful for a CAM program). Set the width of the fret-cut to zero. To see only the fret-cut locations go to the "Window" menu of Sketchup select Layers an make sure only the "Fret_slot" layer is visible.
To do: add inlay generator