Destiny Auto Rifle

For starters, let me just say that the X-Carve has revolutionized the way I make…well…just about everything. About 8 months ago, I got into making wooden cosplay props in my spare time and since then have been challenging myself to bigger, better, and more detailed projects. Here are a few pics of my Destiny Auto Rifle model built (almost entirely) from parts carved out of MDF on the X-Carve.


Looks fantastic! What do you use to draw them up?

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Thanks! I designed everything in Inkscape, creating a separate layer for each component thickness (e.g. 1", 1/2", 1/4", 1/8").

That looks awesome!

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Anyway to share the files you used to cut all those parts? That prop is just sick! Great job!


Well done that is freekin awesome

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Unfortunately, no – this is something that I sell in my Etsy store. However, if you’re looking to make your own, I can walk you through the design and build process.

Whats your store address?

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Just brilliant Sean :smile:

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Hey there Sean!

I’m someone whose definitely looking for advice in understanding how to break down the process for individual parts and mashing it together.

If you are willing to do the walk through I would be really grateful.


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Hey @SeanKeplinger,

I really dig what you’re doing here. I’ve been a member of TheRPF for years (took me that long to make my Iron Man MKIV costume), but having a CNC machine opens up a whole new world of prop building. I would like to second the motion for a tutorial on your process. You could pick a simple widget so as not to get bogged down in the details or give away your hard won designs, but once you know the process, the sky is the limit on this stuff.

My next costume will be a Predator, which has a lot of weapons that can benefit from this type process. That’s one of the main reasons I’m asking.



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@ChristopherALopez, @MidnightMaker:

Thanks for the support. I’ll see what I can do with making a short tutorial. I learned a lot from Bill Doran (Punished Props) and Harrison Krix (Volpin Props). Not to mention aspiring to be Adam Savage.

The best part about using the X-Carve in this process is that you can design entire parts from one piece of MDF instead of having to build it up. For example:

I started to try this on my own and see how far I would get.

I guess my main question for right now is how long and wide does the final result end up being? And what benefits are there for using MDF opposed to PVC in this application?

How I’ve planned it so far is to start with a thin board as the base then build outward. Kind of made a guess as to how you may have done it. The more I messed with it the more understanding I have of it (I think anyway!).

My plan was to use PVC, 1/8th for the base model. Mainly for the shapes of the trigger guard and trigger itself.

Then build outward using varied thickness. Still figuring that part out though!

If you end up doing a video I would really be interested in watching it.


Well done, sir! The best way to learn any of this stuff is to just dive right in.

The beauty of making your own props is that you can scale it to any size. If you’ve seen the Volpin prop video on Tested, he scales it down specifically for 6’ human size because in the video game, the character is like 7’ tall. You can make the trigger guard fit your hand perfectly!

For thin gauge parts, MDF probably isn’t the best, unless it gets strengthened with penetrating epoxy or something. You could totally simulate thin gauge metal with some sort of plastic.

Not to speak for Sean, but I think the benefits of using MDF for his applications are: He can start with thicker material (3/4") and either layer on top to achieve double thickness (1-1/2") very easily or he can carve down into the material and achieve shallower relief details (1/8", 3/8", etc.). Also, MDF machines to a very decent surface that is easily prepped for painting. It also machines very easily, so he doesn’t have to worry about feed rates or breaking bits.

I think the key is to strategically break the finished product down into layers divisible by the material(s) you’re working with, kind of like a stacked wedding cake. Parts that stick farther out will be stacked onto the interior/core parts. Also, registration might be something to take into account. Possibly a 1/4" wooden dowel that positively locates the parts so are drilled into all layers so that everything lines up when you’re ready for the glue-up.

I think Sean has given me enough clues as to how to approach this kind of project. When I get a chance (probably before Halloween), I’ll take a stab (pun intended) at making a Predator-style weapon using his technique. There are plenty of files on


Well I will note that the left image is actually an ingame object (just to clarify that is not my artwork), I pretty much just traced it. But during the trace I was able to see everything in my head -sort of- If I had slabs of each thickness and length to hold together as a chunk really quick I’m sure I’d be able to visualize it even more.

Definitely excited to make stuff with scraps around the Signshop! Once the xcarve is in anyway!

@Zach_Kaplan Suggest that you could give Sean a mega-bounty to produce for the community a design that everybody can carve on the 500 and 1000mm machine. He is a business so his time costs money.

I personally would like to see an Aliens M41A Pulse Rifle. :smile:

I’m techinically competent, but design wise, I suck. This would be awesome.




Game over, man!

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@ChristopherALopez Here are a few tips to (hopefully) get you started:

  1. @MidnightMaker is absolutely correct. MDF is super easy to machine and sand. For some of the pistols I’ve made, I’ve used a Dremel with a sanding wheel to sculpt the grip. (Wear a respirator because MDF is nasty stuff!)

  2. I always start with a 1" piece for the “base” of the model. I use wood glue and attach two 1/2" pieces of MDF together.

  3. Look carefully at the model, you don’t need to cover all of the model with the “core”, just enough to attach other pieces to.

  4. I size the model according to what “feels” right. You can print out your template by exporting to PDF and then printing in “poster” mode, taping all of the pieces together, and cutting them out. Then you can decide if it’s too big or too small.

  5. I created a depth gauge to help me visualize cuts. I used Inkscape’s default gradient percentages. If I can figure out how to share projects, I can make it available.

HTH and ask a ton of questions!