Help cutting out a blender modeled drone frame


a while back i 3d modeled a racing drone frame. i just bought my xcarve. and it hasn’t arrived yet, however i really want to be ready as soon as i get it up and running to try and get my first project done in time for an event in 5 weeks from now.
with 2 weeks to go before my cnc arrives im stuck on trying to get the software to take my work.

i have vcarve and i could use easel if needed, but i’d really like to get this working on vcarve.
i tryed image importing in both. but even though its a 5k render it couldnt pull enough detail.
and 3d model in vcarve just didnt act right.

ive heard people talking about using a svg file. but i cant seem to find anything on it. i really dont want to remodel it and i cant loose to much detail.

You should be able to do it in a blender variant called blendercam

Which version of VCarve do you have?

Some of them allow an STL import of a 3D file.

Seeing as this model looks to be mostly an extruded 2D shape or set of shapes, there may be a way to export this 2D shape as an SVG file.

Either way, the process would look something like one of the following:

  • Blender > STL > VCarve > G-Code > Easel (or UGS or ChiliPeppr)
  • Blender > SVG > Easel (or UGS or ChiliPeppr) - this would be my recommended route
  • BlenderCAM > G-Code > Easel (or UGS or ChiliPeppr)

What material are you going to cut this out of? :slight_smile:

No problem doing an image trace on import into Easel (drop the threshold right down).

You say this will be a racer? You might want to consider extending the centre plate to the arms rather than having that 90 degree corner as that tends to be a weak part in a crash. I would also think carefully about having such sharp corners in the designs on the arms as they tend to be the start of cracks.

Of course, if you never crash, then it’s a non-issue :smile:



Concur, I’d start dumping fillets onto that thing! :smile:

More or less my thoughts as well. I tend to design my stuff with fillets just a tad larger than cutter radius anyway, to avoid jamming a cutter straight into a corner like that, and the abrupt surge in cutter load.

holy s*** you guys are great. i never get this kind of response on any forum… ever. :slight_smile:

also. to admit, i lied a bit. this isn’t the racer i created. i worked much harder on it, than this one. i didn’t want it out and about before i finished it. it looks good. and ill show it one day. but right now i posted a different one. but they are made the same. and rendered the same.

but questions in order
-ill look at blender cam to see if i like it as much as vcarve for model cutting. vcarve. but i had trouble with fine measurements with blender. and vcarve seemed to work great

-it is an extruded 2d shape basically, but i actually 3d modeled it and it just happens to be that way, which is what i needs to be anyways.

-how did you get it to import that clean. because i couldn’t

-test cuts with wood, then a g10 version, ill modify it till i like it. then carbon fiber for the final version
and yes. i bought a 10 pack of 1.5mm bits for the fine detail. but a 3mm would probably do to

-and i guess to earlier statement about the design is why this isn’t the racer intended model.

and i will give GIMP and inkscape a try. i already am familiar with them. so shouldn’t be difficult.

Also the arm decorations are due to be redon smaller. Because i know they will break. Its all still a work in progress with maythings needing a redo and refinement. For exsample the hole near the end of the arm should be 3 mm so i can bolt on landing legs. But there 5mm wide. And are a serious stress riser at the moment. Id really like to get one cut out of wood for now so i can see it better at where its at. And to check my math since this is my first serious 3d model. And Specifically the actual racer has a lot more parts

What’s the overall size?

What program are you using to model it?
What format did you save it as?

With VCarve you can import it as a 3d object in stl or obj format.
VCarve can only import one 3D object per project (this is a feature limit not a technical one)
This is done on the modeling tab.

To import a 2d curve you go to the drawing tab and import vectors. Unfortunately VCarve will not import SVG files (which all my vector files are in) But it will do dxf, dwg, eps as well as others.
I have found that saving my inscape files in eps format works well. (now that I think of it I should try ai format sometime.)

I used to build my racers in g10 or CF (and still do for big hexas and octas) but pretty much only use HDPE now. Weight penalty on a 180/250 range frame is minimal and flip side is the material in easier to machine, cheaper, good choices of colours and a lot tougher as well.

My latest crash donkey hit a tree at full speed and didn’t break (props were totalled) whereas small CF frames break if you fart too close to them :slight_smile:

Being fairly cheap you can feel a bit more relaxed about trying different designs as well. Its where the X-Carve comes into its own is the ability to rapid prototype the designs. E.g. I’m playing with tilted mounts at the moment and can have them flying within hours of dreaming them up :smile:

So consider HDPE for protos and maybe even final build, was a revelation to me. Most of my designs are based around the Gravity 250, this is one of theirs below.



V-Carve worked great with the image above…

Been playing with the idea myself, actually. I’m leaning toward Delrin as my material of choice. Machines and lasers well, and is pretty solid!

wow. this is all really good advice. and HDPE sounds like a winner for prototyping. however Ive seen a properly built carbonfiber frame drop 30 feet to asphalt with hardly a scratch. first time Ive heard someone call it weak. but i have had some poorly built ones to. but i just love carbonfiber because it looks sexy. its just so damn expensive. and its hard to find a lightweight suppler for raw material. and inventables only has 1 & 2 mm thickness :frowning: .i really need 1.5,2,4,&5 for my planned projects. $$$ i cant resist. but it looks sleek and premium. and that’s a badass looking frame. mine is coming up in the next month or so. keep an eye out if you want to see something nicer than my test model. i’ll cut and sell but ill probably release the file for others personal use but not to sell.
P.S. how well does the xcarve respond to carbonfiber.

also. you mean vcarve desktop right. vcarve pro better be able to import more than 1 3d model or ill be POed at vetric. it wasn’t cheap.

but i guess to sum this up. what did you guys do to get that result in vcarve. because ill need to be able to do that. im really relieved to see it work to. spent weeks on at least 3 models like it.

There is a RC car builder who got a XC as a demo.
I think he uses it on carbon fiber.

I was informed on this forum that it is best to use a diamond cut bit to cut carbon fiber. Also, I’ve tried many different types of carbon from different companies, and I would highly recommend a company called dragon plates, although it isn’t cheap

yeah Ive done a ton of research and they where the ones i was going to go to first. but its good to hear it as a recommendation. because i will defiantly try them out now.

does anyone know a good place for g10 and copper plated fr-4 by chance. i need some of that for some projects.

Can’t help with vcarve as I don’t use it and in the UK so not much help on sources of materials.

Yes CF is very strong for its weight but it is also brittle. It also tends to only be strong in a limited number of directions (depending on design). Hence you can drop a quad from 30ft and it’ll be fine on its belly but totaled if it goes in nose first.

I hear you on the look though, nothing beats it really on looks. So maybe you’d consider a laminate? E.g. HDPE/G10 core with CF top and bottom skins or similar. Laminates can of course be very strong for their weight, but you are into diminishing returns as the frames get smaller.

Also bear in mind that any raw CF is electricaly conductive so building power connections into frame itself is more difficult but not impossible. TBS manage it.

But yes, CF cuts fine on the X-Carve. I use abrasives and breaker bits rather than traditional cutters. Residue is bad so protect yourself.



Delrin should work just fine Dan and would make a tough frame. Not sure how stiff it is though in thin sections like arms? A bit of flex doesn’t hurt but too much messes with flight dynamics. Wouldn’t have thought it was any worse than HDPE though.