It's Alive

I’m gonna guess (from the wording) that you’re using vcarve? If not, let us know.
For vcarve, with an imported 3d model, the two toolpaths that you can use are 3d Roughing and/or 3d Finishing.
I highly recommend getting the vcarve Help.pdf and reading the section titled “3D Toolpaths”, that’s how I learned about the details (last week).
There are lots of people on the forum who know tons more about vcarve than I do, I’ve had good luck creating a thread with something with vcarve in the subject line.
Good luck,

ok will have a look at it so far i use most of the time Aspire and a little Vcare. yes many topic in here so for a newbie is hard to find the way :slight_smile:

@ErikJenkins Where did you get the dragon image from? I’ve searched eBay and other places for an STL file but haven’t had any luck. Same for the cross too please, where did you find that?


The dragon I got off of ebay, I’ll post a link this weekend, I am travelling for work. The cross, I modelled myself… I can send you an stl file of that when I get home as well.

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Thank you sir!

Here is the link to the dragon stl file, it was a sample.

I’ll try to get the cross stl file done today…just getting home so it may be in a day or so.

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Appreciate it, I grabbed the dragon STL as well as found another on eBay that I bought. I’m home finally tomorrow so I’ll give it a shot.

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Here is a small relief carving for the lid of a little box. Cut in cherry, about 4" x 5".


Added a splash of Rust-Oleum Traditional Cherry stain.

In the photo, I see a couple of horizontal lines, but on the actual piece I don’t see them, even with my glasses on :slight_smile:


First time to try a lithophane. I used 0.25" candlestone. The cut area is 3" x 4.25". I was fairly aggressive and did not use a roughing pass, so the entire thing was cut in one pass with a 0.5mm radius tapered ballnose bit at 75 IPM.

450k lines of G-Code and took 3 hours to carve with a 5% stepover…

Overall I was pleased as a first attempt. There is some diagonal banding (along the cutting path) that I assume is from bit deflection from cutting too aggressively. The lightest parts are cut almost a full 0.25" deep in the material and the bit was tiny.

The photo is one I took in Kenya a few years ago…

No Backlighting:

With Backlighting:


Lithophanes are so cool, it just does not seem possible that they can capture so much detail.

I was truly impressed when I hit it with the light, the image just pops out. I think if I slow things down I will lose the banding…or I could pocket out the area first with a larger bit…then run the finishing pass.

It is really blurry from the backside…I was hoping for the same thing.

Second Lithphane:

The text is too bright, I added it to the picture as white it needs to be a tad darker…the bit went through the material on part of the text and top of the head. I noticed a tiny bit of play on the Z-Axis pulley as this cut which probably is the reason for the diagonal lines.
Using a 0.5mm radius tapered ball nose in 1 pass
50 IPM
45 Plunge rate
10% stepover
4.5 x 6.5 total cut area
7:16 to cut.


These are really cool! What material are you using? Also I’ve never really looked into this technique before but what CAM software are you using to create these?

This material is Candlestone, very similar to Corian. I bought it from Ebay, however they have a website where they sell it here:

The two I’ve done were created entirely in Aspire (minus the text I added to the Yoda pic, which was done with MS Paint :slight_smile: ). I will probably buy PicEngrave Pro and give that a shot, just to see how it works. Aspire works great, but I am always looking for other options.

The 5" x 7" of Yoda was a 760k G-Code file, and I used a nightly build of Universal G-Code Sender to send to the X-Carve.


Very interesting! Thanks for the info!

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Forgot to post the unlit version of Yoda, so here are unlit and backlit.


The level of detail here is startling.

Can you explain a little about how your generating these in Aspire?

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It is truly amazing when the backlight gets turned on and the image just pops out.

I followed the steps from this post:

There is a PDF document in the first post and I just went step by step.

My original picture for the Yoda Lithophane from a google search…I was amazed to see the detail in the cut lithophane.