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Ukulele Fabrication

Ukulele CAD representation and fabricated laser cut model
Ukulele CAD representation

From fabricating cigar box ukuleles to hand painting them, it isn’t hard to see that ukuleles serve as a medium for maker culture. While one could argue why this is, it is undeniable that their small size and small number of strings make them relatively easy to learn, customize, and fabricate. New fabrication methods, such as laser cutting and 3D printing, have allowed makers to easily fabricate ukuleles. By browsing popular fabrication sites like Thingiverse and Instructables, a maker can find countless designs: laser cut ukuleles, 3D printable ukuleles, banjoleles, non-traditional electric ukuleles, and custom components. While these designs are easily accessible and ready for fabrication, there isn’t much room for customization. It is difficult to design or modify these ukuleles without extensive knowledge of CAD and other software design tools. Utilizing existing frameworks, the software presented allows users to easily design custom and unique ukuleles for fabrication. The user simply adjusts a set of parameters and the program outputs design files ready for fabrication. The software allows the user to supply and customize five different parameters: ukulele size, body shape, headstock shape, sound hole shape, and the size of box cuts.

Christine Dierk demonstrates Ukulele Fabrication software and shows off fabricated ukulele at the BCNM Fall Open House
Ukulele Fabrication models at the BCNM Fall Open House

Photos from the 2016 Berkeley Center for New Media Fall Open House

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