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Discussion Starter #1
I am becoming a fair weather woodworker. My joints hurt in the cold of winter and I hate sweating buckets in heat of summer (non-insulated garage/shop). Which just leaves a small window to make sawdust.

In the meantime I entertain myself by making models and patterns for my library. Modeled in Blender 3d and Zbrush and exported as STLs to the Carvewrigt Designer cnc software.

Here are a few of my latest ones.

2020-12-22 17_13_44-Window.png

2021-01-08 01_36_35-CarveWright - [Untitled Project].png

2021-01-08 00_29_56-CarveWright - [Untitled Project].png

2020-11-26 01_42_04-Window.png
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To be honest, it took me several starts to get the hang of it. The software has a steep learning curve but there is an aha moment where things start to make sense. If you ever try again just focus on the polygonal modeling portion (moving points around in edit mode of the model geometry) and ignore everything else. Even sculpting. Small steps of learning one small thing at a time.

But if you get a hang of it there is absolutely nothing you can't model and carve. My problem now is I don't have the creativity and imagination to make the super cool patterns. Here is a sampling of some of my patterns.

2020-12-31 11_13_04-Window.png
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From blender 3d you have a lot of choices. There are more but these are mainly the ones I use for import/export.

Collada .dae
Alembic .abc
STL .stl
FBX .fbx
Wavefront .obj
AutoCad .dxf
Curves .svg

I can also render image height maps from the models as pictures in all the main 2d formats. Sometimes on really deep models I can get an acceptable pattern by doing this.

From Zbrush I think you are limited to obj, vrml, and stl.

My cnc software uses images as height maps (jpg, png) and stl importer (paid add on).
 

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@Oscar36 I love these. I downloaded Blender, but after watching a few videos, chickened out.

Did all of your designs start out as 2D graphics that you made 3D using Blender? If so, it looks like I should start learning.
 

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Yes, mostly. I try to find as many reference images as I can so I can see front, sides, top, bottom if I don't know the geometry very well. Then I start modeling in 3d to try to recreate the object.

So (sometimes) image reference => to 3d model => to STL object or depth image => to cnc pattern.

Here is how I made a frame pattern I shared a while ago on here.

 

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Well I started going thru Blender but not sure if it will work for me. I have to see if I can bring what I make into my laser. I know I can use it for the CNC router. I will keep at it.
 

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Actually, blender 3d is probably not the best tool for a laser. You can make it work but way overkill for a laser and a lot baggage with the software. It can export svg, fbx though so it will work and its free.

I did/do all my work for my laser on CorelDraw. You really want a 2d vector or raster program depending on what you are wanting to do.

3d software for 2.5/3d bas-relief carvings, 2d vector software for laser vector cutting/graphics, 2d raster software for laser engraving pics.

I have a cheapo Chinese 40W (not really) laser with an upgraded digital controller.

Would love to hear other folks thoughts.
 

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for our laser I am working on doing 3d lasering, ours has a setting for it. At the moment I have been working with gray scale, it works but takes a lot of time. Just trying different things to see what gets the best results.
 

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Blender is a good choice if you want to learn how to make 3d bas relief depth map gray scale images. That was a mouthful. Mostly because its free and incredibly powerful. All 3d modeling tools have a fairly steep learning curve.

If you have a Pinterest account, here is some gray scale images I have made and shared as examples.


I mostly use STL exports but sometimes the only way to get a carveable pattern from a long model is to use a depth map render. So totally understand having options is good.
 
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