When I get an image to work with, I use what can be called “Artistic License” to turn it into a 3D relief pattern. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at determining the heights and depths of the various parts and pieces of a design. Usually customers like the way that I interpret the relief but sometimes they will come back and say they would like to have this or that height changed. And when this happens I make the changes at no cost.
I’ve found that text will come out better when it is bumped out rather than bumped in. If your design is going to have text, and you would rather have the text bumped in, then you will need to indicate that in the Comments section of the Order Form.
I perform a proof reading after each job to reduce mistakes. But I encourage you to look over the design to make sure everything is looking good before running it on your machine. Try though I might, I 'm not as perfect as I think I am. If I misspell a word that is clearly visible on the original reference image then I will re-do the pattern and refund you for the costs.
I can do human faces, and or animals, but I must warn you that these types of images don’t always turn out the way that is intended. A relief pattern is a shallow rendering of a 3D object and when carved doesn’t have the same amount of color or texture information as a photo. Therefore it may not have a good resemblance of the real life image. Some photos will work better than others. Notice for instance the bust of a President on a coin. They are always pictured from a side view. If you were to trace the side view to produce a black and white silhouette, the image would still be recognizable. Side views or views with distinctive form or curvature will work much better when converted into a relief pattern. I can do people or animals, and would do my best to get a good likeness, but I cannot be held responsible if you don’t like the final product. Sometimes a photo should simply be used instead of turning it into a relief.
I use what is considered to be a standard licensing formula for freelance graphic designers. And by submitting an Order Form you are agreeing to this license. You agree to use the 3D relief pattern for personal use only. And you agree to have me retain license of the 3D relief pattern as a whole or various parts to create other relief patterns or sell to others.
I have a first come first serve policy. I will not move customers ahead of others for certain fees or whatnot. The order in which I receive the payment, is the order that I will do the work. After receiving payment I will send you an email explaining when you can expect to have the work finished and sent out, (usually within 1 week).
When I get a new Order Form submission I create a new folder. I use the name of the person as well as the email address as the folder name. That way I can find previous work easily. If you need alterations to old patterns I can find your files easily. Every piece of the original design is a separate entity and therefore can be moved, resized or otherwise altered. So I will only charge for these alterations.
I also create folders inside the customer folder for each job that they request. This folder always starts with a job number. The job number starts at 999 and goes down to 001. By starting at 999 I can always see the latest job at the top of the file list inside of the folder. In this folder I will include the order form information that I received from you requesting the job. Also included in the folder is a copy of the original image that you had sent.
I use Microsoft OneDrive online file storage to back-up all the files that I use to create relief patterns. This is a safety measure to ensure that all of my customer’s information is safe from computer failure or fire damage etc. To be more specific I have purchased Microsoft 365 Business which includes email and the Microsoft suite of cloud software. The email is hooked up to my web site email. This way I have plenty of storage space for sending and receiving files through email.
Each job has a standard job cost fee of $5.00. This fee pays for the creation of the particular file type plus administrative costs, which include email, file storage etc. This is a low cost. I don’t have a lot of overhead. I work out of my home; I don’t have a secretary, a large distribution system or advertising budget.
I charge .50 cents for each object that needs to be created in 2D space (Drawing). But what looks like one object might actually have to be created as multiple objects. Let’s say for instance that a bear needs to be created as an object. The bear is in and of itself only one object, but will need to be created as several objects. The head, ears, nose, teeth, body, legs, arms would all be considered as separate objects. The reason they are considered as separate objects is because they all have to have their own depth profile to achieve a three dimensional contrast.
I charge $1.00 for each object that needs to be modelled as a contoured surface or texture in 3D space (Sculpting). This charge pays for the sculpting involved, and also the adjustment of height for multiple objects that need to overlap, and/or mesh into each other.
I charge $6.00 for each new, re-sized or additional G-Code. Just send me an email indicating the job number and what Pattern Size that you want it to fit into. If you want to change any other parameters then include that as well. The cost for creating an extra .STL or .OBJ file to go along with the G-Code is $6.00.
When you submit an online Order Form it is automatically sent to my email along with any image attachments that have been uploaded. I look at all the information that is sent and create a folder and job folder to store it in. I then look over the information and figure out how many objects will need to be created as well as any modelling that needs to be done. Then I will send back to you an email with the Price Quote. This quote will indicate how many objects and modelling charges I’ve counted, along with the total cost of the work. This email will also have a paypal link with the total cost already entered. Just follow this link to paypal to make a secure payment. Paypal is the only payment method that I accept. If you don’t have a paypal account then you can simply pay through paypal using a credit card.
Once you’ve paid for the pattern, I will receive an email from paypal. I will then write to you with any questions that I have, if any, and also to let you know when the pattern will be done. The title of the email that I send you will start out with the three digit job number. From here on out all communication about the job is done through email replies. I like to volley the same email back and forth, and keep all the information on that one particular job connected to that email.
The name of my business, and the name associated with my paypal account is “Work of Art Designs”. I also have a tax ID associated with this business name. When you follow the paypal link to make the payment you will only pay the amount shown. All the transaction fees are then charged to me.
If you are a Carvewright owner you will receive a .ptn file. If you have chosen an .stl or .obj file then I will email you a link to download the file. If you chose G-Code then you will receive a zipped folder email attachment containing the pattern, the original image and a text file of the original Order Form that you had submitted.
Most of the set-up is performed by the user in the Designer software that comes with the Carvewright Machine. Therefore not as much information is needed on the form. Cut-Outs, Bevels and even Boarders can be easily set up by the user. I can however create a border built into the pattern if desired.
When I create a pattern for the Carvewright Machine I usually make it around 144 square inches (12 x 12 inches). If the aspect ratio requires more length than width, then I will try to stay at the 144 square inch range. Making the pattern large will help to preserve fine details in large carves.
Often times you may want to resize the pattern to make it smaller. But remember that when you do, not only will the width and length change, but the height also. So set the height to 999 to force the pattern to the surface of the material, and then adjust the depth accordingly.
Everything, the height, depth, size, rotation and placement is easily manipulated inside the Carvewright Designer software. And it's all viewable in 3D space. You can easily rotate your board to any angle to see the various contrasts and shadows. What you see on screen is what you get when you carve.
When you order patterns for the Carvewright machine, I will send you files with the .ptn file extension. These files are compatible with, and made specifically for, the Carvewright Machine. These are high resolution files that are easily sent through email without having to be compressed into a zip file, because they already have a small file size.
Designing jobs to be run on a CNC requires a lot of time, as well as back and forth decision making. Designing is indeed the hard part. That's why I don't do design work. So you've got to send me images. I'll take clip art, logos, pencil sketches and photos etc. You can find good images at Google Images, or Bing Images.
Sending images is easy. There's an "Upload File" function built into the Order Form. Digital image formats that you can send include .jpg, .bmp, .png, .tiff, .gif, .pdf, .ai and .eps.
Photos are best taken facing the subject matter straight on. This sounds easy, but a perfect straight on shot is not an easy thing to achieve. But if you place your image on something rectangular, so that it is visible in the picture, then I can use it as a visual aid to help adjust the image, before using it as a reference to make the pattern. A piece of printer paper would work good for this purpose.
You may have ideas on whether particular pieces of your design should bump-in or bump-out. You can draw notes on the Images that you send, or leave a text comment in the Comments field of the Order Form.
If you wish to send me multiple images, then I will assemble them as a collage and send you the updated image for your approval after you accept the quote. I will always require payment and approval of a final image before beginning the work.
The following is a list of CNC Post Processors that I make G-Code for. A Post Processor is the same as Controller Software. Some of these Post Processors offer millimeters and others inches, but the majority can be set up for either one. You will have to select the one that you use. If your Post Processor isn't listed then you may want to try the Mach 2-3, Fanuc or Iso. These will generate standard G-Code that may be compatible with your controller software.
Most Post Processors offer both Inch and Millimeters so choose whichever one you have your machine set up for. You may run into problems if you try to run millimeter code if your software is set up for inches.
The Machining Angle that does the back and forth motion is set for X Axis. If you decide that you would rather have your Y axis do all the back and forth motion then you will have to indicate that on the Order Form.
If you have a router bit changer built into your machine, or your controller operates the spindle speed, then you will need to insert the G-Code manually.
The Windows 10 operating system has a built-in 3D software program that can open and save 3MF files. These files are small in size but yet can hold all the information needed. Here's a link to a zip file if you want to see it: Test Code 3MF File for viewing
If you have CAM software that can incorporate .stl or .obj files, then this is the option for you. Most 3 dimensional art will have a large file size due to the high polygon count. I can provide a download link that will enable you to download these large files to your computer. I can also build an STL file with a Floor or Frame built into the design, just like that of which I talk about in the G-Code section below. Simply indicate that when you fill out the Order Form provided.
You can download a test code below to see what will work for your machine. The test code will carve out this pattern depicted here. You will want to take note of the direction of travel for the X and Y axis. You may decide to simply air carve the pattern or perhaps you want to try it out on some material to see if the speeds and feeds work well.
These test codes are set up with standard settings. You will be able to test them on material that is larger than the pattern size. The pattern size is set up for X=4 inch (102mm), Y=4 inch (102mm) and Z=.25 inch (6mm). The Reference Point is Centered. The Feed Rate is 120 inches (3048mm)per min. The Plunge Rate is 60 inches (1524mm) per min. The G-Code is made to run with a 1/16 Ball Nose 5.5 Degree Tapered (pencil shaped) three flute Carving bit. The code is made to travel 0.125 inches or (3mm) above the material in the areas that are not being cut. And the step-over is set for Medium Resolution.
Carving bits are shaped like a pencil, and have a 1/16 inch round nose. But you can also find 1/32 or 1/8 inch round nose carving bits. Anything smaller that 1/16 would be used for small carvings made using very tight closed cell material. And the step-over would need to be specified accordingly. The smaller the bit, the tighter the step-over needs to be.
I use the carving bits with the 5.5 degree taper. The taper angle is measured in degrees on only one side of the bit. Some bits will have a taper angel of 5.6 and others 6.0, and you can probably find everything in between. G-Code that is made for a 5.5 degree bit will work for all these other bits, but if you want to get precise results then just let me know your taper angel in the comments section.
You can also use flat tapered bits to carve, but using them will result in gouge marks in the material. I know this because I have tried it. It can be challenging to sand all those gouge marks down.
The feed and plunge rate can be set at anything you would like. The speed should be determined by the machine, the router horsepower and speed as well as the material being used. If you try to get a big machine to go real fast then you might have issues with backlash or bouncing etc. And the hardness of the material also plays a factor in how fast the bit will carve.
Since the tapered carving bit is so small at the tip the router needs to be run at a pretty good speed to keep up with a fast feed rate. To find out how hard a certain wood is, you can look up the Janka hardness test.
For the most part, a standard speed of 120/60 inch (3048/1524mm) per minute will work for any wood that is between the hardness of Pine to Maple. This is a fast speed, but that's OK because you are actually only taking a little shaving off with each pass.
Carving on a CNC is done by performing a long traverse followed by a short step-over. And this action is repeated over and over again until finished. I offer three step-over choices; 1) High Resolution 2) Medium Resolution and 3) Low Resolution. The High Resolution step-over goes back and forth 8 times per 1/16 inch. Medium Resolution goes back and forth 6 times per 1/16 inch. And Low Resolution goes 4 times per 1/16 inch of travel (or metric equivalent). If you're going to be carving in a hard material or want to get a good carve that needs very little sanding, then you should choose High Resolution. If you're working with a medium hardness material then you should choose medium Resolution. To run fast choose Low Resolution.
Machining Angle is the direction that the CNC does the longer traverse back and forth. It can either be the X axis or the Y. Typically it will be the axis that carries the Z axis back and forth. It should most likely be this axis because it is lighter than the whole gantry that rides on the frame, thus less weight to move back and forth. But you must also consider the way that the back and forth motion cuts the material you're using. Keep in mind that wood is usually carved against the grain or back and forth across the width.
I recommend doing a roughing pass on any carve that is deeper than ¼ of an inch or 6.35 millimeters. This allows you to keep the feed rates high and makes for a nice smooth carve. If you have a detailed carving, then you should use a ¼ inch flat end mill because it will get in to more of the detail than a ½ inch end mill. I have not used round nose bits for roughing but I have added that to the form in case someone wants to use one of those.
Roughing passes are for carves that are deeper than ¼ inch but I usually can't tell how deep a carving pattern needs to be until I do some work on it and then view it in 3D. Sometimes patterns with a lot of layering of objects will need to be created deeper in order to capture enough contrast between all the layered shapes. I will always give a recommendation on what needs to be done as far as roughing passes when I send you the final pattern.
I recommend setting the Roughing pass feed rate to 60 inches (1524mm) per minute, and the plunge rate to 30 inches (762mm) per minute. The roughing g-code does the step-over and long back and forth traverse just like the carving g-code but needs to go a little slower because it's taking off more material. If you know your machine can go faster, then you can request a faster feed rate. I set the step-over for a roughing pass at 40 percent of the bit width.
Please leave any comments, information or special instructions in this field. Any details that you feel I may need to know, or any questions that you have, can go here.
I specialize in the creation of G-Code Carving Patterns. This Carving G-Code has a long trajectory followed by a small Step-Over which repeats over and over again, until the pattern is created on the material. This small step-over combined with a pointed round nose router bit is what produces the fine detail and sculpted contours which result in a CNC Carving. Carving with a sharp pencil shaped round nose carving bit takes time. It's not a fast process, but it's the only way to get three dimensional detail. If you prefer preformatted g-code, then fill out the G-Code Order Form.
If you write this information down first, then you won't have to measure it twice.
Jog your machine to and fro, and write down the total distance of travel in both the X and Y coordinates. This is the Machine Size. Familiarize yourself with the direction of the X and Y axis because you will need to use this information often.
Next measure the material that you want to carve and assign it an X and Y value, according to the orientation that you want it to have when clamped down in the router bed. We can call this the Material Size.
Then subtract the amount of space around the edges of the material that needs to be used for clamping it to the bed. (You can also draw this shape on the material to give yourself a good reference point to run the G-Code from). Unless you determine to use something smaller, this will be your Pattern Size.
When I create the G-Code for the carving pattern, I will rotate and scale the image (keeping the aspect ratio) to fit into the Pattern Size that you have given me. I will fit into this size even if you choose to use a Floor, Frame or Cut-Out. I will even factor in the size of the Cut-Out bit that you choose if applicable.
I can set up a Cut-Out right on the edge of the pattern, or the outside edge of a Floor or Frame. This Cut-Out function will be a separate G-Code that can be run with the end mill bit of your choice. So what you would do is finish the Carving operation then change the bit and start the Cut-Out operation. The Cut-Out will be set up for your specific material thickness and would be run in passes until it has cut all the way through the material. Towards the bottom of the cut will be tabs to keep the material secured to the router bed. These tabs will have to be cut and sanded by hand.
I create a bevel around each pattern that drives the bit to the floor of the carve by default. This bevel provides a gradual climb into and out of the depth of the carve, so that there are no sudden plunging maneuvers. But I can also add a Rectangle, Contoured or Custom floor area around the carve if you so choose. If you choose Custom then you will have to send me an image that you would like me to use as a Floor.
On the Order Form, after selecting the Floor Shape, you are asked to specify how much space you would like to have between the Carving Pattern and the outside bevel. This Floor will become a part of the pattern, and will be sized to fit within the Pattern Size that you indicate later.
Choosing a Reference Point is like picking a spot on the G-Code that you want to call 0=X, 0=Y and 0=Z position. Before you run the G-Code you will position your carving bit at the 0=X, 0=Y and 0=Z location on your material. The surface of the material is always the Z=0 position.
You can pencil in your Pattern Size on the material and put an X at 0 position. Jog the bit to that position and set all of your Axis to 0 on the computer before running the G-Code. Keep in mind the X and Y movement of your machine.
If you're going to run multiple G-Codes, with bit changes in between, then you will need to make sure you don’t change the 0 Axis positioning until the whole job is complete. When I make carving patterns, roughing passes or cut-outs I make separate G-Codes for each, but they will all share the same reference point.
From left to right:
The carbide 1/16 inch ball nose three flute 5.5 degree tapered carving bit
The carbide 1/8 inch ball nose three flute 3 degree tapered carving bit
The carbide 1/4 inch diamond cut fish tail burr cutting bit
The carbide three flute flat end mill cutting bit
All of these bits have 1/4 inch shafts. The tapered round nose carving bits are the most commonly used router bits for detailed carving. They will work well in routers rated at 1 Horse Power or more. These carbide bits will last a long time, at least 200 hours depending on what kind of material you're using them on. I have used diamond rotary tools to sharpen the inside of the carbide flutes with good results. Cleaning the pitch that accumulates over time, will help to keep them working smoothly and lasting longer. A good source for these bits, is the drillman1 Store on Ebay (Search the store for Carvewright). Another good source for these kinds of bits is Amana tool. Rockler Woodworking and Hardware also carries these kinds of CNC carving and cutting bits.
This is the most commonly used bit for carving and will produce the best detail. The Round nose efficiently plunges into the material being carved, and handles the contours very well. Most of these types of bits have a 5.5 degree taper which is the angle of only one of the tapered sides. If you were to try and use a 1/16 Flat tapered bit, you would notice gouged machining marks in any area where the bit is creating horizontal slopes in the trajectory path direction. These gouges can be removed by sanding but should be avoided all together by using the round tapered bit.
Like the 1/16" Carving bit, this 1/8" bit is used for carving material. This bit has a 1/8 Round nose. You will not get the same amount of detail out of this larger bit, but it is ideal for larger carvings, or carvings that don't require a certain amount of detail. When using this bit it is possible to set up the G-Code for a slightly larger step-over, thus reducing the amount of time it takes to finish a large or less detailed carving.
This bit has a fishtail end which when spinning creates a Flat appearance on the material. It is ideal for roughing because of its ability to plunge easily. I recommend this bit to anyone with a CNC Router. I love this bit because it cuts so fast and sounds so smooth while doing so. This bit is ideal for use in both roughing and cutting passes where a smooth cut is not important.
This bit is the standard for cutting. It works well especially if you want a smooth cut. Like the fishtail burr cutting bit it can be used for both roughing and cutting of material. I will talk more about roughing and cutting passes a little later.
After selecting a Floor Shape you can add a Frame around it. Think picture frame here. You can add a round edged frame, a rectangle edged frame, or any custom frame that you want. To tell the truth a simple frame always seems to work best. Larger shapes and profiles are easier to sand down. The Frame will follow the contour of the Floor. If the Upload Image already depicts a Frame, then I will automatically include it, and you should choose "None" on the Order Form.
You can draw out a pencil sketch profile and send me the photo for reproduction. Keep in mind that the inside edge of the frame will work best when it's bumped out enough to give a good bevel down to floor level. The outer edge could be a multi-tiered effect down to a comfortable distance.
The cost of Floor shapes, and Frames are calculated the same as any other shape incorporated into the design of the image. I will discuss the quote and costs later.