How to carve a bowl shape

A friend of mine wants to make a board game that involves carving some bowl shapes into a board. I figured rather than modeling the whole board, and telling Estlcam to do a 3d carving, it would be much easier to just define the bowl shape center the cnc where I need it, and tell it to cut. Is that even possible? Seems like something that would be done for cutting molds for casting and injecting too, but does Estlcam do it and I just don’t see how? Is there some other software that does?

Unless the bowl shape can be accomplished with a 2.5D operation and a round endmill, you’re going to be doing 3D anyway. You can do just one bowl, but it would be much easier to do the whole thing at once, I would think.

Well that’s the difference between CAD and CAM. ESTLcam is fairly limited in doing CAD, so you’ll need a different program to generate your bowl shape, either as a toolpath or STL. You can also make a circle shaped pocket and use a large ballnose bit for the finishing to get nice round inside corners.

I know. I can model it in OpenScad. The problem is, if I make a sphere, then remove the top 2/3 to make a bowl, estlcam wants to carve it out as a positive shape. I could then subtract the bowl from a block and tell estlcam to carve the whole block, but there are limitations to that, and times when I think it would be much easier to just position the spindle over a spot and have it remove the pocket in the 3d shape.

Don’t have to run as long of a job when doing one bowl at a time, so less chance of a mistake. Can do a bunch of real quick test cuts to make sure the bowl cuts out, then position where needed. Again, also seems like it would be more useful for doing molds for casting and injection. No reason to have it cut out the outsides of the block as well, just tell it the inverse shape you want, and have it remove it from the block you already have prepared.

If you make a block with the bowl innit, and use estlcam’s mask peature in the 3d carve, you can prevent it from carving out the black, if that makes sense it won’t go past the outer perimeter.

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Their is a youtube video on na Estlcam feature “Solid of revolution” you may not have seen.

Hope is is of help.



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Fusion 360 can easily do what you want. You would model a block of arbitary size with the bowl cutout of the top face in the center. Then hop over to the CAM tab, set the origin on the center of that top face, and generate the operation to cut it out. Output the gcode file, then position the tool at the center of where you want the bowl cutout to be, touching the surface of the wood, then run the program.

Something like this. Toolpath itself for illustration purposes only, wouldn’t recommend doing it like this.

I think you linked to the wrong video, but I found it based on the title you said. Thanks.

That looks like it might work. I’ll have to play with it.

I assume you mean just doing the outer edges, and not having it hog out the middle?

correct, you would want to remove most of the material first (roughing) then do a toolpath like i have pictured to finish it

Well, the mask option doesn’t like it when I select a circular mask :frowning:


EDIT: Latest version may be working with circular mask… says not responding, but I suspect that it’s clipping the paths to a round mask