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Finite Element Simulation of Guitar Top Vibration

Finite Element Simulation of Guitar Top Vibration

by Phil Banks

Originally published in American Lutherie #18, 1989

The use of engineering finite element analysis software to determine modes and natural resonant frequencies of a guitar top can be a useful (albeit lengthy) process which, if used judiciously, can yield useful information to the guitar maker.

As a graduate mechanical engineer and a guitar maker, I’ve always been interested in marrying the discipline of the luthier’s craft with that of science. I got that chance last year at the University of Sydney. While working as a programmer developing a Finite Element package, I was asked to produce a demonstration of the program’s capabilities. I decided to analyze a guitar top.

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