Newbie on curved surfaces

Hi everybody, i’m interested in buying the new x-carve. What i’d like to know is wether the machine itself can carve a curved surface, and if it can, what software for modeling, generating gcode, and controlling is needed to do it. For 3D modeling i’d use FreeCad, but for the other two options i’d need some advice :smile:
Thanks to everybody

Hi @AndreaBrega thanks for writing in. The machine is capable of doing full 3D carving. In order to get smooth curved surfaces you will need to use a ball end mill. Currently, our free Easel software can only do limited 3D curves. For example this lattice is a 3D curve that was created by importing an SVG file. The SVG file specified different heights by changing the color of the lines from white to black. Each color value assigns a different height to the curve. Easel does not currently import CAD files for carving 3D curves.

In order to carve out a curved surface you need three different programs a CAD program, a CAM, program and a machine controller. The FreeCAD option will work. We also sell a program called MeshCAM which is less expensive and it will take a CAD file and help you create the gcode. After you did your design in CAD and created the g code in CAM then you need the third application to send your gcode to the X-Carve. One free program is called Universal G Code Sender.

These programs are examples but any CAD/CAM software will work.

You can also use combo CAD/CAM packages like Fusion 360. Students and educators can use Fusion 360 Ultimate free for 3 years Startups can use Fusion 360 Ultimate free for 1 year. Another option You can also use a program we sell called Aspire that combines a little bit of CAD and CAM. You can also import. It normally costs $1995 but if you buy an X-Carve it is $1795 in the bundle.

Just saw this! Exactly the same question I had. That is a really awesome idea about the different colors to add depth!

I’m probably ordering one of these in the next week or so. My main question is how the multiple passes work to do the rough cut and then the finishing cut etc. It is obvious to me that Easel doesn’t have this function but I am going to use fusion 360 most likely for more intricate projects. Do you know if fusion has the ability to set up rough cuts with on size mill and then have it do additional passes with a ball end for finer details?

Hi Zach. Does your response also apply to Carvey?