I would like to try and walk you guys through another fun 3D carving I made. I am using a stair tread purchased from Lowes. They come in 1.03" thick x 11.5 wide x 36" or 48" long Red Oak, or a cheaper substitute, White Pine. Either one will work, but I love Red Oak wood! It is a very hard wood, and does have a tendency to break off when carved too thin, but looks amazing with just clear coat.
- Machine Type:
- CNC Router
- Vectric Cut3D, Openbuilds Control
- Machine Time:
- 4.75 hours
- Bit or Laser Size:
- 1/4" end mill. 1/8" ball end mill, 1/8" end mill
- Feeds & Speeds:
- 80-100 IPM roughing pass, 60-80 IPM finish pass, 60-80 IPM cutout pass. Number 4 on a Dewalt 611 DWP router
- 1.03" thick Oak stair tread (Lowes or Home Depot) 1-1/4" decking screws for holding material to spoil board. All in one Classic Oak and Poly finish. 2" paint brush for applying finish.
I am using another model I purchased from Etsy. The models will normally come as a zipped STL file. I then import the STL file into Vectric Cut3D, and go through the steps to set it up and turn it into G-Code.
The model I am using will fit into a 10" x 12" area, so that is the length I cut my stair tread to. I leave the width alone, and sometimes I make it a little longer just so I have room to screw the material down to the spoil board. You just want to make sure you are not going to cut into your hold downs, regardless of what you use to do so.
Okay, so after I set up my model and material size, I need to choose my bit size, feeds and speeds for the roughing pass. I normally use a 1/4" end mill for my roughing pass. I prefer to use a down cut end mill because of the clean looking results, but a normal up cut bit works just fine. I used a 1/8" ball nose end mill with a stepover of 10% for the finish pass, and an 1/8" 2 flute standard end mill for the cutout toolpath.
Continue on through the steps, check out your preview to see what the finished product will look like and save your G-code. I use a GRBL post processor in Cut3D for creating my toolpaths.
Many people use Vectric V-Carve as their choice for CAD software, and it will work just fine for doing these 3D models as well. There are a few extra steps you need to take for some models, but it has a lot more functions also.
I decided to make a timelapse video of this project being machined. Octopus2.wmv
I made a mistake when I setup the model, and it ended up not cutting deep enough for the model. There was no material to cut where an eyebrow was supposed to be, lol. Oh well.... half the fun is learning as you go!
I hope you enjoyed this project, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.