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Some days ago I created a first “usable” product with the milling machine. The goal was to engrave a quote of Goethe into a tree disc. A friend of mine used it as a (from my point of view) gorgeous birthday present for his mother.
How we did it:
- Help some friends with taking down a tree and try to cut some evenly sliced tree discs out of it. In this case it was a 50 years old pine with a diameter of around 40cm.
- Find a suitable quote of your favourite poet.
- Plane the tree disc down to a common height. Take care to not use a zigzag path, since this will create some slightly visible horizontal lines across the tree disc.
- Prepare the given quote with Inkscape as an SVG file. You could put a circle with the size of the tree disc in the background to position the text properly on top of it.
- Try to estimate (depending on your font size) how wide the engraving should be and choose the appropriate graver. Don’t try to use a cutter – the edges would probably look terrible.
- Load the SVG file into PyCAM (version 0.3 or above) and choose the “Engraving” with no offset. Don’t forget to specify the depth of the engraving as the height of the processing boundary.
- Send the generated GCode via EMC2 to the machine.
- Enjoy the result!