Star Wars CNC Project Start to Finish

I liked this student’s project and wanted to document what he did so that other students could use some of his work.  The thing that impressed me was his use of a 3D model in the CNC carve, his use of texture and modeling.  We did a piece similar before, but used a different texture.

First off he started in Vectric Aspire.  He spent a deal of time on it, but I wanted to show it in real time so I made a video trying to recreate his work.  The video is 10 minutes long, but it does show the entire process from start to finish in real time.  In the video it shows these things:

  1. Obtaining a 3D image of Darth Vader from
  2. Importing the .stl file and manipulating the orientation in Vectric Aspire
  3. Shortening the model to an exact 1.5 inches.  This flattened the design slightly to fit in the thickness of the wood better without loss of design.
  4. Copy and pasting a Death Star image from google images
  5. Using an image to make a model
  6. Using the sculpting tool to lightly clean up the image model
  7. Combining the 2 models to make the desired model.  The death star needed to be behind the mask and not on the mask.
  8. Creating a dome component and making the textured photo follow the dome.
  9. Creating a roughing pass with a0.5 inch end mill
  10. Creating a finish pass with a 0.125 ball end mill
    1. Now here we had an issue with the actual carve.  The 0.125 ball mill was not long enough to get into the deep parts, so we found a long 0.1875 ball end mill that would do the work.  The process is the same, but we went back and recalculated the toolpath and went back at it

Real Time video of the software work

Next, we go to the CNC router.  I took a series of Time Lapse videos of the carving happening and here is what it looked like in NOT real time.  The entire roughing pass took about 45 minutes and the finish pass took 3 or so hours.

This 15 second video is of the roughing pass.

Roughing time lapse

This 15 second video is of the finish pass.

Time lapse of the finish pass

Here is all of the time lapse videos I made put into one video.

All of the time lapse videos into one.

Here are some pictures of the finished work.




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