Celtic cross help please

Okay all,I need some help. A friend of my wife, mother is dyeing of cancer. She would like to have a Celtic cross made for her. I need some help in creating the file to design and cut it. I haven’t done enough programming with the carbide software to be able to design it. image

This is what I would like it to look like.

Any help would be great don’t know how long she has.

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How big do you want it to be? What’s the smallest bit you have?
Here’s the file as a .svg:

Should be able to import that into carbide create.
Just a quick v-carve looks pretty good from the simulation.
File here:
test file.c2d (552.8 KB)
Setup is with a 60 degree v-bit. Cutout is with a 1/4 inch endmill. Inside cut is 1/8 in endmill.
You’d need to change depth on cutout and inside cut options for stock thickness.
If you wanted it larger, then you should be able to expand on the design tab under resize button (x with arrows).
Let me know if you have any questions.

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For folks who are curious about such designs, a wonderful resource (if a bit dated) is George Bain’s Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction

Aidan Meehan has also written a great set of books which some folks may find more approachable.

There is a software program for generating such designs as well:

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Thank you I will give it a try tomorrow I have those bits. Will let you know how it goes and thank you again

While it’s expedient to auto-trace, unfortunately, such automation tends to get some detailing wrong:

Since this is a symmetrical design, it’s quite quick to re-draw:

  • place the image on a background layer and lock it:

  • draw in the circles:

  • roughly draw in the cross shape:

  • fine tune it:

ideally the fine-tuning would be perfectly symmetrical, but the drawing isn’t quite:

Forcing symmetry results in:

We then inset the outer cross as necessary to achieve the balance of the design:

and then combine things as compound paths and Boolean operations to get the desired outlines…


Once combined properly one arrives at:

Then it is just a matter of drawing in each section of the design.

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Hi Will, how nice it was to be reminded of great software like Aldus Freehand. I work with Serif’s Affinity Designer, having moved away from Illustrator and the creative cloud débâcle; which Adobe had presented to its user base as a fait accompli.

It was just one step too far for me, especially after I had to amalgamate my long time individual licence choices of Adobe software (Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop and In Design) into the less than delightful Creative Suite One.

It was really great to see the steps of your work broken down into manageable pieces, to end with the vector illustration that was required. Much respect!

Yeah, Freehand, née Altsys Virtuoso is my favourite drawing program — probably my favourite application ever — really miss programming strokes and fills in Display PostScript on my NeXT Cube.

Serif’s Affinity Designer is workable, and GraviT (formerly known as Quasado) is quite nice for being free, but I still haven’t found anything which works as well as Freehand/Virtuoso do for me — I keep nudging @robgrz to make a Freehand clone of Carbide Create, but we’re not quite there yet.

Combining the symmetrical re-drawing with a slightly fixed up version of the knotwork from @Radiation’s auto-tracing we get:

celtic cross redrawn

Placing that in Carbide Create along with the pixel image we have:

Attached. celtic cross redrawn.c2d (564.6 KB)

Cleaning up the knotwork further and assigning toolpaths is left as an exercise for the reader.


while i have a problem i am using CC 431 so file does not open correctly so i can’t do anything with it. i just got where I can use CC and didnt want to change yet any ideals what i can do or how i can re create the file

the 5 series installs next to the 4 series of carbide create so you can have both installed and run in parallel…

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Of course! You might want to install new version of Carbide create, but in the meantime:
In Carbide Create on the design tab click this icon to import the cross. (I’d recommend saving the one from Will’s post above).

If you want to resize it to better fit inside stock you have you can use this button after clicking done.

I find it easiest to draw a rectangle and then pick the dimensions for the size I’m trying to get, so I have a visual reference.
Once it’s all to scale and set in the workspace we can start making toolpaths. But first we’ll want to make sure the object isn’t linked together. Highlight everything and make sure it looks like this:

Now go over to the toolpaths tab and select everything and pick v-carve. I used a 60 degree v-bit, but I’m not sure what you have available. That will give the best detail on a smaller object.

You may have to play with the selections a bit to make sure that it looks right. Best way to do this is with a preview.

If that looks right, we can cut out the piece. For this I select the inside area of the cross and outside (you can select multiple objects by holding on shift while clicking them). The select contour. In countour area you want to make sure it goes to nearly full depth of your stock and select outside right. Toolpath should go outside the line around the cross and inside the line on the inside portion.
Now you’ll basically need to run this with a tool change. Easy with a bitsetter, a bit more complicated without.
If you dont have one, disable the cutout toolpath, export g-code and save it as the first file to run (however you name things).
disable v-carve toolpath, and then enable the cutout toolpath, and export g-code as the second file.
Then you’ll run the first file, swap tools, rezero your z, and run the second toolpath.

Hope this helps get you started.
If you have any questions I’m off today and can get on a phone call, or if you have the ability to get on googlemeets, I can set that up just let me know.


Here is a copy of the SVG imported into CC433:

celtic cross redrawn_CC433.zip (57.1 KB)

celtic cross redrawn_CC433.c2d (506.6 KB)

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okay i want to thank everyone who has assisted me in getting this done i have down loaded the files and set up the tool paths. i just picked up the wood and will be giving it a try tomorrow, i will post a pic once i get it completed
thank you all again for the help. im sure our friends mother will love it

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Okay thank you all for the help I have some sanding to do but think it’s not to bad. Going to make another one only use a different bit for cutting it out.


Thank you yours was the best of them all. I should of used a small bit for the cutouts and maybe they would not of chipped. But it looks good with some sanding.


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