First time ever using Easel? We recommend having a quick look at how Easel works before attempting your first 3D carve: Designing in Easel.
You could also try the Intro to Easel Project.
We also have an overview video:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR 3D CARVING
3D in Easel Pro will only work with STL files. If you have a 3D file in another format, you will need to convert it to .STL. Here is a guide: https://all3dp.com/2/best-stl-converter-file-tool/
You may also find the GLOSSARY helpful.
- Open up a new Easel Project and select "Import 3D STL File" to load your model.
- Once your model is loaded, enter the size of the stock material you will use for carving your 3D model. Make sure the stock size will be enough to completely carve the model (especially the height).
- Orient and position your model where you want it to be carved on the material, making sure that the model is within its boundaries. The green box represents the size of the material. The purple box represents the overall dimensions of your model.
You can use "Center to material" to quickly position the object to the middle of the material.
Select the Cut Style you want for your model (see below for the Cut Style options). You can also select the direction of the finishing toolpath (e.g. to go with the grain of wood stock).
- Select the bits you will use for the roughing pass and finishing pass. In general, any end mill bit ¼” or ⅛” diameter will work well as a roughing bit; for the finishing pass, we strongly recommend using a ⅛” ballnose bit.
- Easel can recommend general, safe cut settings for both passes, but you might need a bit of experimentation to find what works best for your combination of bit and material.
Recommended Cut Settings for X-Carve Pro (shown below) Birch Plywood with 1/4" Downcut and 1/8" Ballnose:
Recommended Cut Settings for current X-Carve 1000mm (shown below) on Birch Plywood with 1/4" Downcut and 1/8" Ballnose:
NOTE: If you are using a different type of material, your settings will be different or unlisted. We recommend using Easel's default settings as a starting point. For more information on calculating your cut settings, see this guide: Calculating Your Cut Settings: Basic Feeds and Speeds Information
- Easel will display the Carve Time Estimator with approximate carving times. Generate toolpaths to see the carving path and the approximate time it will take (the image below is sped up for instructions.)
- After you have generated the toolpaths, you may see how the finished piece will look after clicking the "Show Preview" button.
- Cut Style
- Cut depth
- Bit length
- Safety Height
- Material Height
- Model Height
- Use Tabs
- Finishing Toolpath
- Generate Toolpath
- Show Preview
Back to the Instructions.
The direction a model is “facing”. It can be Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front or Back. Not all models import into Easel facing up.
The relative distance of the model from work zero (the purple 0,0,0 point on the grid). This can also be set as a negative value to carve only part of a model on the stock.
The width, length and height of the model. You can change any value by itself or change them proportionately, using “Lock XY” to keep only width and length proportionate, or “Lock XYZ” to keep width, length and height proportionate.
Use this function to spin the model counterclockwise by a specific angle on the XY plane. (See image above)
There are three options for carving your model:
1. Full Depth Cutout with Autotabs will completely cut the model out of the stock, keeping it in place with tabs.
2. Rectangle Relief will carve a rectangular space around the model on the X and Y plane.
3. Model Boundary Relief will only carve within the boundaries of the model, leaving stock around its edges.
Back to Step 4.
The length of the tool as measured from the bottom side of the collet to the tip of the bit. For models with vertical spaces to be carved, the bit length will be the maximum possible cut depth.
Distance from the bit to the surface of the material during rapid movements. For detailed information, see this guide: Origin Safety Height vs Safety Height
Thickness of the material (Z-axis).
Thickness of the model (Z-axis). The material’s height should be at least equal to the model’s size for it to be carved properly.
Total depth carved as measured from the top surface of the material (Z-axis).
Extra space carved around the model, when “Rectangle Relief” or "Model Boundary Relief" has been selected as a cut style.
When doing a Full Depth Cutout, Easel can add tabs automatically to keep the piece in place. If you unselect this option, make sure the piece is still clamped down and won’t move when cut out.
When utilizing a full-depth cutout as the cut style, you can select the edit button next to “Use Tabs” to adjust the positioning of their tabs. This allows users to keep tabs away from hard-to-reach areas like corners or delicate areas of the relief. The tab quantity and dimensions for 3D projects will continue to be calculated by Easel.
The direction or angle followed by the finishing bit when carving out the model. In general, a carving toolpath following the wood’s grain will produce a better finishing. We recommend experimenting with the various options.
It shows the movements that the bit will do when carving the model.
Toolpath generated (shows roughing):
It creates an approximate view of the finished piece after both carving passes.
Back to the Instructions.