Guitar Design drawings

Guitar design using parametric modelling

When thinking about my next guitar (and my first cello) I wanted to find a way of easily iterating my own designs of body shapes which could be easily “pulled around” and manipulated without re-drawing.  After a bit of investigation I decided to look for a parametric drawing package.

I eventually turned up an interesting package called Solve-space. This package seemed to have a number of key advantages:

  • It is free software  🙂
  • It has a very light footprint
  • for 2D work the interface is simple and easy to learn

Solve-Space is free software, distributed under the GPLv3 and can be found to download at

I then tried to understand how some of the more celebrated guitar shapes had been designed and created myself a simple parametric template which I then proceeded to “fit” to the published shapes and dimensions.  The source of these existing designs I got from a very good book by Roy Courtnall called “Making Master Guitars”.

The solvespace template I used can be downloaded here guitar template Alabaster (after dowloading change the extension from .txt to .slvs

Here is a table of parameters I used for fitting to the established guitar designs and what I used for my own design:

Romanillos Bouchet Freiderich Alabaster
Drawing pdf romanillos Bouchet Freiderich Alabaster
Length  488  484  489  488
Upper bout width  278  280  280  280
Upper bout distance between circle centre and centreline  46  51  47  46.3
Upper bout large circle diameter  244  327  327  327
Ratio of lower bout to upper bout circle diameters  0.772:1  0.766:1  0.757:1  0.777:1
Lower bout distance between circle centres and guitar centreline  60  60  61  60
Lower bout width  (360)  (366)  (370)  (360.4)
Lower bout large circle diameter  488  484  489 488
Waist width  236  241  240  224
Waist curve diameter  80  100  80  80
Heel to waist  194  180  194  187
Heel to sound hole  151.5  151.5  151.5  151.5
Sound hole diameter  87  87  89  87

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