What is CNC carving?
CNC carving is done by computer controlled device called a CNC router. It uses a spindle with a cutting bit that turns at high speed, that carves and cuts various soft materials, such as wood, composites, aluminium, plastic, and foam. A CNC router is ideal for cutting flat and profiled components for your project from flat sheets of material.
The video below shows a sign being created from a sheet of hardwood, and demonstrates the basic capabilities of this technology.
How do I learn to use a CNC router?
A CNC router can be intimidating, but the basic principles of its construction and operation is very similar to other more approachable machines, such a 3D printers or vinyl cutters. A novice can get started quickly making with this techniques by tapping into the trove of on-line resources available to makers. The following links will get you started:
- Inventables: the manufacturer of the X-Carve machine, with some interesting ideas and downloadable designs.
- Ultimaker: Opendesk offers furniture designs for more advanced makers, and may also assist in manufacturing.
- Youtube: a comprehensive set of videos covering CNC routing, from simple to very advanced.
tekSPACY offers a programme for novice makers that want to learn to carve with a CNC machine. You shall recieve guidance throughout the learning process from a skilled maker, with the eventual aim of creating and printing your own designs. Join tekSPACY and explore the possibilities of this growing international community. tekSPACY may also facilitate access to a large-format industrial CNC machine for manufacturing large designs, such a furniture.
Start by learning
Get into the world of CNC making by carving a basic design under the guidance of a tekSPACY maker. This process shall include machine calibration, preparation of your design and monitoring the machine while it carves. You shall also be required to know and practice the tekSPACY safety rules.
During this phase, you shall learn to create new or modify existing designs using a 2D design application such as Inkscape. By the end of this step you should be able to design, cut, display and even sell your designs.
To get started, you may watch these Inkscape for CNC tutorials on Youtube:
Make your own
At this stage you should have received CNC Maker status, which will allow you to use the tekSPACY CNC router equipment without supervision. You can then make, display and sell your own CNC designs.