Being able to machine 3d carvings with your CNC is a great way to diversify your projects even if it's just for fun or for your business.
In this project we ran a 3D toolpath that carved the Storm trooper skull out of walnut. You can get very nice details and textures with different types of woods, wood allows us to be more creative with our finishing touch. The natural texture of wood has a vast range of eye catching appeal and a unique aesthetic that your customers will love and enjoy.
1. Decide on your Design.
Before machining any project, you want to first start by measuring and setting the dimensions of your stock material. Have an idea ahead of time for what kind of design will look good with your project and material. Try not to over think it, this should be fun. The walnut displayed below is 7 inches long by 7 inches wide. The Thickness of our material is 2.5".
|This piece of Walnut is 7"x7"x2.5"
2. Import your 3D Model
|The VCarve software makes it easy for importing and setting up your 3D files for machining.
You can purchase many models that are already made on line, etsy is an example of where you can get them. Once you download your design, you can simply import them into VCarve and start scaling your model to fit your stock material. Click on this video link to watch how to import 3D Files in VCarve.
3. Choose the Right Bits
I used a .25" End Mill for the roughing tool path. This will remove the excess material that your design won't need. The next step is to use a smaller diameter bit for the finishing tool path. You can use any kind of ball nose bit (tapered ball nose works great!) to run your finish pass. I used the 1/32" radiused bit here.
4. Feeds and Speeds
When setting your feeds and speeds, it is helpful to save notes on which bits work best on the specific type of wood/material you're working with. You will have different outcomes based on how hard or soft your material is. You can adjust them as your machine is cutting to dial in the best results.
You want to be conservative with your feeds when running your job. On the finishing tool path being too aggressive may result in step loss of your project and result in wasting your material and starting from scratch.
i2R CNC owner's get free perks such as being able to download the full project for VCarve in the i2R CNC Owner's Group. Enjoy!