My wife wanted to make a wedding gift trivet for a friend. It started off earlier this month as a laser burned image, but the results were lack luster. Then I recently learned some basics about cnc carving. So we decided to experiment with making a carved trivet on my MPCNC Primo.
The source image… black and white roses pose a challenge in processing:
I used the “image2surface” add-on in F360 to create the model (convert quad mesh to t-spline). I dealt with what I think may have been memory leaks while processing the model. F360 crashed a few times as a result, but it seemed to work itself out after relaunching f360 a couple times. For sure, even my 32gb+12700k left me waiting up to 15min for processing any changes (a 300k face mesh is a lot to process). I did no manual modifications to the model, sticking with defaults on the addon. I only changed the “stepover” setting so it spit out a model that was in the ballpark of the size I was after (I scaled the mesh in fusion to the exact size).
The naked carving looked pretty sharp, but lacked the overall contrast she was after. So she hit it with a small propane torch to bring out some details. Here’s what it looked like after burning, before pouring:
The first pour didn’t go well. It was underfilled, and excessive heat that day caused some very large bubbles to emerge in a few areas:
The next day my wife reworked it with sandpaper and repoured. It came out pretty good this time:
The above photo does little justice to the 3D effects… seeing it in person, it plays tricks on your eyes.
Last but not least, a short video showing my setup and the z motor doing it’s thing:
At the end of the day, we were both pleasantly surprised at how it turned out given it was our first experience with carving, burning delicate carvings, and pouring epoxy. We will definitely be playing with this more in the future. The technique lends itself well to images with cluttered details, like the bouquet in that image. However, I could imagine someone getting artsy and doing 3d shading on smoother/cleaner carvings too.
Thanks for reading,