Just got the Xcarve 1000. question: what does it mean to 3D carve? My wife mentioned to me last night that she paid for me to everything. I see people creating 3D. how ?
3 d carving involves having the tooling move up /down front / back and left to right to create a 3 dimensional object. In order to really do this, you need 3d software. I use Rhino 5. Fusion 360 and others are newer and more popular it seems. You also need to convert the 3D drawing to Gcode and that will involve a Cam program. I use Meshcam. I don’t use Easel, but it is capable of 2.5D I guess.
Your X-Carve can carve any of the things you see in the links below. There are people on ETSY that sell 3D STL files for CNC or you can get files for free from Thingiverse. You will need a program to go from STL to G-code and most programs that do this take a while to learn and master.
Here, a V bit carves a sign. This sort of work is typically called 2D or 2.5D and works by having the machine carve along the outline of black and white line art.
Here, a 3D carving of a pegasus gets carved. This 3D carving goes beyond 2.5D in that it has realistic contours, not simply outlines and varying depths.
I create my own 3D models which I share on Thingiverse. For example, I created this 3D model which will produce 4 wooden spoons. You run the CNC tool path and it cuts one side then you flip over the board and run the program again which finishes the job. I use Vectric V-carve Desktop to convert the STL files to G-code which I then run on my machine. I use other software to create the STL file.
How to carve 3D images or reliefs on the X-Carve the easy way.
- Buy Vectric Vcarve Desktop ($350). This will do 2D, 2.5D and carve 3D model reliefs. Vectric is much better than Easel for everything you will ever need to do. Look at (support.vectric.com) site for training videos on 2D, 2.5D and 3D model projects.
- Buy the 3D models or 3D Model projects from Design & Make (designandmake.com) that you can open in Vcarve and edit the size and Z height of the model to add to your projects. Check out their Shop Notes Hacks for project ideas and videos on how to use there models in projects. They make it very easy to create wonderful projects using their 3D models. Look at (https://www.youtube.com/user/CNCminiProjects/videos) for step by step training on using Vectric 3D Models.
- You can save your Vectric Gcode toolpath files and then carve them using Easel by importing the Vectric G-Code file.
- Other places to get 3D Models: Vectric Vcarve comes with some good 3D models. Check out vectorclip3d.com for other very good models. Also, search on Etsy for 3D or STL models for cheaper bulk 3D model sets (etsy.com/search?q=stl%20models).
- Buy Tapered ball-nose 4-flute carving 4-bit set (0.0313", 0.0625" dia, 0.1250" dia & 0.2500" dia tools). These are needed for different size 3D models. I have used all 4 sizes in my projects even the 0.0313 for small 3D carved pendents. Precise Bits (https://www.precisebits.com/products/carbidebits/taperedcarve250b4f.asp&filter=4) is a good place to get a starter set of tapered ball nose bits.
This will get you started creating projects with 3D reliefs or two-sided 3D models like spoons or chess pieces.
Another software option:
- Fusion360 can relief carve from straight STL’s
Here is a video I made a while back, showing the work flow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecawEcJRqHo&list=PLW1SE5VzX2rhv5piIOQl0Bgl91VP0REIt&index=3