Carving letters on an arced surface

I’m not sure whether this is the right spot for this discussion, but here goes.

I have a bunch of different types of old wood in the basement, and I’ve been gluing the pieces together and carving these into cutting boards. This part has been pretty straight forward. The goal was to get them all ready to put under various trees at the end of the month, so I wanted to add a bit of flair to them without marring the cutting surface. My idea is to carve “Merry Christmas 2015” on one edge and fill it with contrasting colored epoxy.

I’ve Macgyvered a clamping system to hold the boards vertically (it’s OK for the short term, but I’ll come up with a more permanent solution). My issue is that the edge profile of the cutting boards is not perfectly flat; it has an arc to it in the z-axis direction. The arc isn’t drastic, maybe 1/2" from each end to the center. I’m trying to figure out how to carve the words with a consistent depth on all of the letters.

So here’s the big question: Does anyone know how to set up a project to account for a vertical change in surface height of the base material? I think I’ve come up with a nifty idea, but I don’t have any clue how to make it happen. Any ideas would be appreciated.

If you don’t need the depth to follow the curve, I would assume you could just zero it at the highest part of the curve, then set it to a depth that would be deep enough for the lowest part. It would just cut some air for a bit.

This might be worth a read:

Check out Martins video on the subject.

Thank you all for your help. I’ll check out the links and see if I can make them work. It looks like I may not be able to accomplish my goal within Easel, but at least I’ve got some good options to look at.

If you do each letter separate, you can set a different DOC for each one. The ones on the low part with a deeper DOC, since part of the cut will be air. It won’t be perfect, as there will be a slight variance of cut with each letter, but if the curve is gentle, it probably won’t be noticed.

I don’t know if this is correct or not as I have never done it. Doesn’t chilipeppr have a routine setup to adjust for printed circuit boards that are out of level? Can you use that routine to determine the surface shape of your object (I know it has to be conductive to make this work - I was thinking aluminum foil over the object) then carve it and have the program compensate for the surface shape?

People have definitely done this with ChiliPeppr and it works decently.

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