Inventables Community Forum

Carving Photos

I am a new X Carve user and am curious has anyone carve a picture using Easel like I have scene on YouTube. thanks

There are several ways that people use CNC machines to do black and white photos. One way is called a lithophane. This takes a piece of white corian and by cutting away the back side makes white areas by cutting the corian thin and dark areas by cutting the corian thicker. You then put a light behind the corian to see the image. There are several software packages that can convert the images to tool paths (PhotoVcarve is one) and there are many Youtube videos that show people doing CNC lithophanes.

There is another method that converts the photo into different sized black dots. These dots are then drilled into your workpiece with a v-bit. You then spray black paint into the holes and sand the flat surface back to a natural color to represent the white. This makes high contrast images and doesn’t really produce grey tones between black and white.

Finally there is a way to make black and white photographs with lines using a Sierpinski or Hilbert traverse but this is more typically used for pen plotters or lasers

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Most of us have. Can you provide an example of what kind of carving you are thinking about / want to carve yourself?

Photo V carving is quite cool.
Here are a couple that I recently did.

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I use 3 different programs to get the end result

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Jan,

How did you produce these carves? What software/material did you use? I have a friend who would like me to carve an image of their dog and I am not really sure where to start with it.

Thank,

Joe

Nice work! I have played around with Half Toner and another one whose name I forget to make images like this, but the only time I tried to carve one it just came out with hairy waves. I think the problem was mdf doesn’t hold the lines.
What do you use (and how) to paint or stain the black engraved lines?

I use Vectric desktop V10 for all of my CNC work.
MDF if probably the worst wood to use as it is not strong enough to hold detail.
Maple seems to work the best, however the round one in the pictures above, is a piece of corian.
The process is as follows.
Run the program.
Seal the surface with wood sealer after cutting. (corian does not need sealing)
Paint the whole surface black and let dry for a day.
Sand the complete surface until the picture appears.

Thanks for the info. I look forward to trying this again with real wood.