Welcome to Rickenbacker.com              4/23/2014   
In May of 2006, Rickenbacker received a shipment of two new HAAS CNC machines. These state of the art machines figure to be a big factor in boosting production, and reducing RIC’s substantial backorder situation. This brings Rickenbacker's CNC machine count up to five; two other Haas VF 4 machines are already online, plus a larger 5 axis Reichenbacher machine from Germany, considered to be one of the most sophisticated woodworking machines in use in America today. Another Haas machine is scheduled to be delivered in May 2007.
The HAAS VF 4 has a 20 HP spindle motor with a maximum spindle speed of 15,000 RPM, and is accurate down to 0.0001”. This high rate of speed and accuracy are essential to the quality of wood cuts that our instruments require.
Weighing in at over 6 ˝ tons each, getting the HAAS machines into our factory’s woodshop was quite a task. After a great deal of effort, the two new machines found their new home directly across from our two existing Haas machines.
Arielle Hall is the resident CAD Designer/ CNC Programmer at Rickenbacker. Working under John Hall for the past two and a half years, she has been responsible for reverse-engineering many of the guitars and basses in current production, including the 325c64, 300 Series, 600 Series, and 4003.
The digitizing arm is used to reverse-engineer guitars. The arm has a pointed stylus that records where it is in 3-D space by making points and lines corresponding to the arm’s movement in the CAD program. Tracing the relevant points, curves and lines on an existing part is a great starting point for generating the final clean curves one would use for CAD surfacing. It also allows Arielle to duplicate important components of the geometry like a tail scoop or a neck back profile in cross-sections.
"We’re always looking to improve the efficiency with which the guitars and basses are constructed on the CNC Machines. It’s a continuously evolving process,” she says. Using the latest CAD and NC toolpathing programs, she has designed and built an array of custom fixtures and cutters for the CNC machines to accommodate a higher volume of necks, bodies, and fretboards while ensuring maximum repeatability and quality.
 “The addition of two new HAAS CNC machines has helped immensely in this regard. “We can mill every essential wood component for guitars and basses at the same time on all four machines, freeing up more woodshop workers to focus on important detail work like neck-to-body joining, binding, fretting, and sanding. The implications for overall production are increasingly positive, where we can expect to see backorders decrease significantly in the coming year.”