For New CNC hobbyist: Depth Map/grey scale image for patterns

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Forum topic by OG51 posted 04-02-2018 09:59 PM 1520 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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157 posts in 720 days

04-02-2018 09:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cnc patterns

I just wanted to encourage new CNC owners to dig in and start learning their CNC software. I did a quick search and didn’t see a lot of information on this. This entry is focused more on the CNC woodworking hobbyists.

One of the major factors in CNC productivity and usability is the software and patterns available to use with your machine. Creating CNC patterns can be a huge investment in time. First, to learn how to build 3d models with your CNC software, CAD or other 3d modeling software and secondly actually building complex figures for the CNC pattern.

So I guess I am encouraging folks to go one step further with their tools. As a hobbyist we don’t have the same pressures of time and wood piece production deadlines. I do woodworking for my own use. I don’t sell any of the pieces I build so they become either gifts or are for my personal use.

The learning curve is very steep if you’ve never done CAD or 3d modeling but it is a ton of fun to learn. Here are a couple of my own patterns that you can use with your new CNC machines. It has taken about 4 years for me to learn how to create my own custom CNC patterns but it is one of the most rewarding aspects of my woodworking. Though the magic of discovering the wood grain figure with the first coat of oil is still pretty much at the top end of the list.

4 replies so far

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4545 posts in 1997 days

#1 posted 04-24-2018 03:31 PM

What software are you using?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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157 posts in 720 days

#2 posted 04-24-2018 09:43 PM

I use blender 3d (free software) and zbrush ($$$) to build my models. I use blender 3d to either render as 2d depth map image or save as .STL’s depending on the specific model.

My hobby cnc uses proprietary software to then convert to its format.

There is a large learning curve in building good 3d models for cnc usage. Just wanted to encourage to stick with it. It was my third attempt at learning the software when it finally clicked. Regardless of software it will take effort and persistence to master it.

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157 posts in 720 days

#3 posted 09-21-2019 08:10 PM

I shared these on another thread but throwing them in here for tracking. I have made thousands of patterns and I get confused on what and where I have shared.

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157 posts in 720 days

#4 posted 09-21-2019 08:16 PM

Here are some additional patterns I have posted on Artstation.

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