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Replicating wood carvings on cnc



Hey everyone , I'm looking to the woodweb community for some technical guidance . I have about 20 of panels very similar to the one attached to replicate for a project I am working on . I am wondering with all the modern technology if it is possible to have a program help me with this program all of the depths of each cut and the contours . I have alphacam right now but I don't believe that can help me . Although it's convert image to raster /vector tool is amazing .

Thanks in advance

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1/8/16       #2: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
John Meachen

If you have a router with probing capabilities its not too hard to run a probe routine over the panels.You then take the points to generate a cutting program.
An alternative is to have a scanning service scan the surface of your panel and create a file for you to use.It may be that you get a .stl file and you will have to use a software package that will create a surfacing routine.

1/9/16       #3: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

Mike Mezalick has done dozens of files for me both scanned and modeled

1/9/16       #4: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

Really happy with his work

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View higher quality, full size image (681 X 1024)

1/9/16       #5: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
jerry Member

Brady Watson does high quality scanning his web site is

1/9/16       #6: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...

This looks like a download from 3d model club or Vector Art 3d. Both of these companies are reputable and can also produce custom models for you at extra cost. I have carved dozens of models from these companies using AlphaCam Advanced Router starting with V6 up to the current AlphaCam 2016, all with 3 axis machines.
I have also contracted with Brady Watson several times in the past. He is reputable and reliable and I highly recommend him. If you are trying to reproduce an existing carving he can scan it and send you an STL file which you can import into Alphacam then use Alphacam to produce toolpaths over it just like the models you can buy from the other companies.
There are many other softwares out there that create toolpaths in 3d, and some that are easier to use than AlphaCam for this, but why spend money for another program to replace one that is already as powerful as you can buy? There is an inherent trade off between "Simple to use" and "Capable of anything"
I think AlphaCam bridges that gap very well with their tech help. They are really great.
It is challenging, but believe me with a little effort and some tech guidance you will be opening up a lot of possibilities for yourself by toolpathing these with AlphaCam. Each one gets easier and opens up new possibilities for your business.

1/9/16       #7: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

The first pic is the 3d model club files I did originally, I had Mike do a custom set of which we are only 8 files done. I know Brady as well he spoke at the Aspire Camp in My shop last year. While I have yet to use him his work is well know to be excellent, Mike Modeled my stations from scratch

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1/9/16       #8: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

Can alpha cam run an STL file direct, there was a collusion for them to use Aspire but it never seemed to take with the Alpha base user

1/9/16       #9: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...

Yes, Alphacam can toolpath many different formats, STL, Rhino, too many to list all natively. I believe they partnered with Aspire and still offer it as an integrated feature, but I have never used that extra cost extension. From my standpoint adding Aspire to Alphacam seems redundant, but then I have limited knowledge of Aspire, and already have access to other modeling software. I think Aspire has features that are very useful if you are creating 3d models, and Alphacam is primarily a toolpathing software with functions for geometry creation and manipulation, so for some it may be an excellent marriage. Generally if I am drawing 2d I go to Autocad, if modeling 3d use Rhino and taking it to the CNC is all AlphaCam.
For example, there is arch work and pilaster work on Soraghan's website under the "about" tab that could be done 100 percent in Alpha, or could be modeled in Rhino and imported to AlphaCam to toolpath. Perhaps Aspire could as well.

1/10/16       #10: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
jerry Member

You could also use the free 3d machinist

1/10/16       #11: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

Alphacam still has the module "Art" which is the Aspire add on. The planit fellas did a regional meeting in my shop a few years ago when theis was released as I hold an Aspire Camp for users of the Aspire (Vectric) software each Spring. While I have CV I had little reason to watch this. I started my CNC journey with Vectric software so my bias is based on that being my sole experience.

Alphacam as a stand alone will import an STL (scan or file) and machine, keey is will it allow for any manipulation as to size, depth or allow for say a panel back to allow the OP to make it a panel in one piece. .

I am learning something with this thread as I have used CW since 97 and owned CV since 2011 or 12 and just now wanting to really learn it,, draw back is I had all computer built with AMD cards which CV will not work with,, that changes this week..

best and most reasonable cost for Gavin is to get it scanned and have a friend make the model fit his final need, I presume the panel is on with multiple runs not multiple different panels designs. If he wants I am willing to help. Brady is a scanner and a Damn good one, He was a key speaker last year at the Aspire Camp and I got to spend some really good time with him, shortly after I sold my scanner to Mike and Now I am beginning to miss it !! all of these guys are the go to guys for anyone wanting to do 3d cnc files which are custom. and all of them I consider friends, Mike has attended every Camp I have held since 2008 and will be here again this year..

Aspire Camp

1/11/16       #12: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...


Thanks everyone for the responses . This is what makes the site great , everyone trying to help each other out .

Has anyone else used Brady Watson to create a scanned model for them? It seems like that is the way to go ?

James - does mike also scan and create stl files ? I would like to cut these my self .

Thanks again everyone !

1/11/16       #13: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
james mcgrew Member

I have know Mike longer than I have known Brady, Mike has done a good dozen plus projects for me and all successful some scanned some modeled from a photo, Brady also has a large following I would call and ask each.

1/21/16       #14: Replicating wood carvings on cnc ...
Lee S Member

You can try to create a stl file with photo to 3d file The beta software I have tried is available for free as of now from Autodesk.
It is called Memento.

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