Map in 3D with Xcarve Instruction available?

Hi all,

I am new here and started to make some simple work right now on my new Xcarve. I saw some pictures and read also some topics about maps which I am trying to create with my Xcarve.

What I am trying to do exactly is , I am looking for an instruction how someone from the forum managed to select a certain area from the world map with Water and land to put this in different levels on wood…

I saw some topics and found some websites but not really clear how to do it. May be someone can help me with.


Do you want to do a 3D map with continual change of heights?

If so, see tools such as

If you want discrete layers for each level, then it’s a matter of getting such a topographic map, isolating each level and cutting each as a layer (or machining them as steps)

Hi Will,

thank you for your quick reply.

The link looks very useful .

Not sure what I need to adjust before creating a STL file , but I will try it.

But what do you mean isolating each level? How can I do it? I just tried a small STL file out of the website and opened it in Autodesk Fusion 360 But not sure what I need to do after that…
I will try myself to better understand how to manage it.

Thanks for the link.

If you want to post a picture, or refer to a thread of what you are referring to it would be easier to understand what your vision of the map looks like.

I had topographical or elevation maps in mind, but you seem to like the STL (3D) one.

With F360 in your arsenal your easiest method is to use an online STL-generator to make the 3D map.
Use Insert Mesh mesh and you can basically use that in CAM direct.

To add a custom “border” to machine inside of draw a sketch and use that as your boundary.
If you want “stepped” elevation a 2D Adaptive with Multiple step enables, where the step down value is your step distance.

Avoiding the STL->Brep conversion allow you to use higher polygon count as F360 really struggle with 10k or higher prep meshes. However, editing the 3D object is hard (I haven’t spent time figuring out that yet)

I will elaborate:

  • Generate or locate the 3D model of your area as an STL
  • In F360, use Import Mesh and scale it as seen fit
  • In f360 CAM, under Setup dimension your stock as required (Pic 1)
  • In F360 CAM, under tool path select Model (Pic 2)
  • Depending on complexity the generation may take a while, see preview in Pic 3

Pictures for clarification:

Hi HaldorLonningdal,

first of thanks for trying to help me with your instruction. What I tried this morning now was following.

I used an area in Germany (I am based in Germany :wink: )

And then I selected some paramters (hopefully correct) to get the best as possible STP file.



Here is not much what I can do wrong im my opinion.

After the download from the STL file (rawmodel-71398.stl approx 27MB) I started Autodesk 360 and used the first step : Insert Mesh and selected the file, and I got this picture(Looks very flat …)

Now I went to CAM under 360 and here I struggle with your next two sentences …

In f360 CAM, under Setup dimension your stock as required (Pic 1)
In F360 CMA, under tool path select Model (Pic 2)

I am not sure what to do exactly because the first picture even looks very flat compared to yours.

To give a better understanding what I would like to generate is this level of detail if possible.


Hopefully you can help me to understand what I need to do. May be my download from the Terrain2STL Website is wrong.

Thanks for all your help!!!

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You have to exaggerate the height — while mountains seem imposing, relative to the size of the earth, they’re not much (if you scaled the earth down to the size of a marble it would be smoother than any ball bearing)

For layers, I meant topographic maps such as:


Begin with a much smaller area with mountains etc just to get familiar with the work flow :slight_smile:

The two main parameters to tweak for the STL generation is water level and vertical scaling. For vertical scaling I suggest to use 1.6 or something like that. It all depends what you want to emphasise :slight_smile:

Your first step is correct.
2nd step is to go from the Model enviroment (top left in F360) to CAM-enviroment
Under CAM - Setup (highlighted in blue in my pic) you need to define stock size as the mesh you have isnt a solid. Enter some ZYZ dimensions and a yellow area will show. Adjust as required relative to your mesh. When that is done you can move to 3rd step, assigning the tool.

It really is straight forward but F360 is very powerful with many features and the learning curve is steep. I’ll do a video for you later tonite :slight_smile:

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Thank you both for your professional support!!!

In the meantime I will try to follow your new description how to manage it . I will use another place from the world with more Hills :wink:

And hope that I can manage it better.

If it makes not to much work with your video I would really appreciate your help.



Check this video, it show the three stages I described above:

There is a learning curve with F360 Model and CAM environment, so take it easy and just ask here on the forum.
The more specific the more precise your answers will be. (I won’t have them all BTW! :wink: )

Dont even have an Xcarve :stuck_out_tongue:


big thanks supporting a beginner :wink:

It works really great . I just had two steps which I would like to know if possible.

  1. You went at 2:32 minute in your video to another untitled file and could see a plate in wood that you carved… How you did it ? May be a stupid question , I could use on my original file the carving but not on wood which shows more details in my mind.

  2. How can I see and adjust in case that I would like to do this, the hight of the wood . Just as an example If I would have a wood 35 mm and would like to use the maximum more or less , what are the steps? Is is during the Terrain STL creation or Fusion 360?Or another example if I have only 20mm Wood ,can I adjust this to manage the carving on a depth of 20mm?
    I don’t want to carve in my washboard :wink:

Again really appreciate your help, the video was very very useful!!!

I just downloaded it for offline purposes , just in case that I will need this again in another Map area.


1 - At 2:32 I just switched to a pre-prepared project where the tool path was previously generated. (saving time for the video) The step after that was just running a simulation of the carve.

2 - The workflow shown in the video only show a very basic STL-CAM, if you want to edit the mesh you need to do more steps before CAM, most likely involving converting the mesh to a solid and edit that.
Carve depth can be defined in various ways for each tool.
The dimensions for the mesh can be viewed by either using the measurement tool in F360-Model Enviroment or under F360-CAM-Setup-Stock


  • After STL have been imported, go straight to CAM module (top left red circle)
  • Click Setup -> New Setup (This is where tool orientation, work zero and dimensions are set)
  • You’ll have a window open called Setup:Setup1, under Model click the “Nothing” box and click on your mesh. This select the mesh as your model.
  • Choose the pane called Setup:Setup1-Stock and the XYZ dimensions of your mesh will display there.
    (If you click the Box Point you can choose where you want your work zero to be, shown here is top center.

Thank you for the final details. I will use these additional information to carve the first time a map and will let you know when I have a result…

This can take a few days as I am busy the next few days…

Thanks all for your quick and constructive support!!!

Much appreciated.


BTW - Scaling the mesh is easiest using the following method:

  • Right-click on the mesh body.
  • Select “Edit” to enter the Mesh Workspace.
  • Select “Modify” from the toolbar.
  • Select “Scale”.
  • Enter scaling value, i.e. 2 for 2x enlargement.

Note: The mesh can be scaled non-uniformly as well by selecting the drop-down for Scale Options.


Its been 2 years since ive bought my xcarve and everyone really likes to do a 3d maps models… sorry if this is acceptable in this forum… i could supply any maps you want in BITMAPS FILES that you can adjust the height in ASPIRE or any 3D software according to your materials or a ready STL files for just $10 its files… If this is not acceptable in this forum please just ignore it… just want to help


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Hey Luisito
I’ll take you up on the offer to generate files for $10…
send an e-mail and we can discuss…

If you can do lake topographical maps, I’m interested in your offer as well. email-