Posts Tagged ‘wood’

ATTENTION: PHOTOS OF THE PROJECT WILL BE ADDED LATER DUE TO absence of laptop with all the working materials on all the projects

Class: Technology.

Software: Autocad, Rhino.

Material: Styrofoam 150*150*60 mm.

Task: Create the figure by using plywood ( or Styrofoam in my case) which is possible to cut with CNC machine.

Drawing the project

Our first task in the 2nd semester in Shukhov Lab was to create a 3-D object in cad software in order to cut it out on the CNC-machine afterwards.

After taking some time to find an interesting project I assumed it would be nice to take something big in real life and to scale it down as a CNC-project. Thus, my working on the mini-golf field started.

I was inspired by the photo of golf-club, located in Rostov region called Golf Country Club “DON”

‘place for photo’

I started to work in Autocad, proceeding later in Rhino software. The problem was to make the surface smooth without using Metaballs plugin. After several hours of ideas and the same amount of time for creation I managed to get something looking like that:

‘place for photo’

Actually, the edges appear to be not that smooth as I planned them to be, but still it looks original and worth trying to cut the golf field out. We decided with the tutor Ivan it would be better to try this project on the styrofoam form not to spoil the wooden sample just in case.

‘place for photo’

Cutting time

The process of cutting appeared to be something interesting because it was unusual to me to visualize the accurate work on tiny object by the big machine, capable to cut almost anything from the piece of square. It is important to fix the sample of material in order not to allow it change its position while the special drill head does its work.

The result

After approximately 25 min we managed to get the result of the whole concept looking this way:

‘place for photo’

I guess, from the wooden sample it would look much nicer, but we get what we get, next time maybe we’ll try something more worth to spoil the real wooden sample:)

With this project I got the idea how to cut out any 3-D object you want to transfer it from the virtual reality to real life.


The excercise consisted in using the CNC machine to transform a 10x10x2 cm wood tile. To achieve the goal it is necessary to create a 3d model, then a G code to define how the machine will interact with the material and finally set the parameters on the CNC machine software to run the file and cut the piece.


  • Modelling: Rhino
  • G code generation: Art Cam
  • CNC interface: NcStudio

Tools and machines:

  • CNC
  • Manual basic tools for wood


In order to understand the possibilities of the CNC and the kind of results it could generate, I decided to make one prototype 90° angles and complex geometric intersections and another with more simple curved geometries using only boolean unions and substractions in Rhino.

For the first prototype, I subdivided a 10×10 cm rectangle in different proportional modules and created a topography by extracting them in different heights.

To make the work of the CNC more complex and understand the possibilities of it, I intersected an elliptical section volume and subtracted it from the original topography

After the volume is created, I transformed it into a mesh and uploaded into the Art Cam software whose procedure I will explain later in this blog.

In a first step it is necessary to define the size of the model and it’s position in the digital interface
In a second step we must set the size of the milling bit and the path it will follow and we exporte the G code
The CNC machine es composed by a surface where the material is placed and mechanical arm who follows numerical instructions.
The material that will be milled must be fixed to the surface. For this essay we used double side tape. The use of protective glasses is highly recommended.
We set the starting point in the software
We upload the G code into the NcStudio software from the CNC machine and we run the file.

The result was not as I expected maybe because of the reasons I will describe:

-Possibly the size of the geometries was too small for the milling bit.
-Sharp orthogonal shapes are not easily cut.
-The cutting path strategy was not proper for curved and orthogonal cuttings.

In a second attempt, I made a curved geometry thru a similar substractive process of design in Rhino.

I uploaded it to Art Cam

We must first define the scale of the object
Then introduce the final geometry in the volume that will be cut.
Define the milling strategy and the parameters according to the material and the kind of work that will be done.
In this case we fixed the tile to a piece of wood using screws.
And we programmed the CNC to go longer and in more phases to have a smoother result.


Class: Technology, CNC Milling
Software: SketchUp, 3dsmax, ArtCAM, Match3
Material: Plywood 10*10*1 sm
Challenges: Create a tile with your own drawing using cnc machine


  The idea was to create a panel of Soviet hruschovka with its typical inhabitants.


In the beginning, the base unit with clear dimensions in the sketchpUp was designed, exported to 3dsMax, where entourage and staffing – curtains, grandfather, cat and flower were added. Later, the model was exported to stl.

model from scetchUp

finished model


To create a tile it was necessary to prepare a path for bits in the CNC machine. The path consists of two parts: draft and finish. Rough removes large masses, has a big step, but it works roughly. Pure has a smaller step on all axes, but takes much more time. When creating a path, you need to upload a file stl, specify the thickness of the material, and also the bit for the finishing and roughing path, then in the final path, you can choose the way to create the picture in the last step: one-way, two-way, radial and ect.






CNC milling class


Equipment | software

3d builder, Photoshop – model preparing

artCAM, mach3 – software for CNC

Cnc machine – printing


It was necessary to cut out a relief tile by 10 * 10 (as an example – Barcelona’s diverse tiles)

Process of preparation

The topographical relief of the terrain was chosen to turn it into a kind of biomorphic surface, similar to both natural landscape and biomimetic structures.

A raster image with lines was taken, then painted in Photoshop with white-black polygons, where black is the lowers level. Then this colored image was dragged to the 3d builder, where the final form of a relief was prepared.

Then this file was exported to stl format and open with artCAM software allowing to set the dimensions of a string, tile surface, etc.

Then it was open directly with mach3 for the last settings before the milling.

The printing took approximately 30 minutes

The result was good

Then I experienced with similar structures, for example, in order to create a kind of biomorphic window panels.

When the project was completed, I faced with the similar example at the Mars Museum of Modern Art. Probably such table can be the next stage of the module-tile development


p.s Thanks Ivan Mitrofanov for assistance!

address: 20 Myasnitskaya ulitsa
(metro stations ‘Lubyanka’ and ‘Kitay-Gorod’)
Moscow 101000 Russia

phone: +7(495)772-95-90 *15026