Community challenge #24: Elements (closed)

Hi there,

Let’s kick off a new community challenge, this time the theme will be:

Make something based on Carbide3D’s Design Elements

The Design Elements online library has a bunch of cool vectors for you to use, and more are being added regularly.

Rules for this 24th challenge:

  • submit your entry in this thread (you can post multiple entries if you want)
  • you must use a Shapeoko or Nomad
  • the project must include one or several vectors from C3D’s Design Elements library
  • post pictures of the project (we like seeing WIP pics in addition to the glamour shots)
  • posting your project to CutRocket will get you a +2 bonus on the vote tally.


  • Deadline is set to Sept 19th 2021, midnight PST

  • there will then be 7 days for voting.

    • voting will be open to legit community members only, and the jury reserves the right to remove votes from “outsiders”, and will also break any tie.
  • First place: a BitRunner v2 + a McFly surfacing cutter


  • Second place: a BitRunner v2

  • Jury’s prize: a McFly surfacing cutter

And as usual a bunch of stickers, T-shirts or some other cool swag


Have fun making chips!


“King of Stars” (work in progress).

The plan is to make a box that will hold two decks of poker cards, this will be a gift for a friend. The box is fairly simple, the box top has custom artwork (and the focus of this post). I wanted to make a custom “King of Stars” for the top of a box, using Design Elements from Carbide 3D.

I had an idea in mind, and after reviewing all of the design elements I started assembling the design.

Here is how I put the design together, using Carbide Create 611.

The rest I just hand drew using the 1/32 x 1/32 grid pattern in Carbide Create. Obviously lots of resizing and tweaking, but you should be able to spot the design elements. I think the air force logo made a great king-like royal shirt collar, and the space force logo for the tip of the sword.

When viewing the attached “RickBoxTop.c2d”, I used the “layers” feature in Carbide Create to keep the objects organized. I used a “Guides” layer with a red color to hold objects I just use while designing (not used for toolpaths). The “Outside” layer with a blue color for those objects cut on the outside, and an “Inside” layer with gray color for those objects cut on the inside.
Here is a screenshot showing all layers…

The plan is to CNC this from a 9" by 6" stock of bamboo.

First I just surfaced the bamboo, reducing the thickness to 1/2". I have fully embraced @wmoy method of using the top of wasteboard (aka bottom of stock). If you are reviewing my toolpaths this is why the first step is to pocket the entire surface with a start depth of 0.0 and a max depth of 0.00001. The stock size is defined as 1/2" thick so this step just disappears the oversized thickness.

While that was working I got the Polyurethane ready, as I would be apply a coat to the freshly surfaced part.

Once that dried, I applied some Oramask so it will be easier to paint the “King of Stars” design. After cutting it was apparent I pushed the Oramask a little too much, so I pulled out the exacto-knife and cleaned it up. I’ll need to do additional sanding, but the Oramask should still save me time.

Used purple paint, that somewhat matches the purple heart wood (which I know changes over time).

After removing the Oramask and less than 10 minutes of light sanding I like the results.

The box is assembled from 5 pieces of purple heart, the previously discussed bamboo top and a simple plywood box bottom.

Magnets are added, everything is cleaned up, and a couple boxes of cards are added.


  • Pretty cool idea!
  • gotta love bamboo
  • I wish I had easy access to purple heart, this looks great already.
1 Like

Your design is awesome! I like the Space Force logo touch, definitely makes the tip of the sword cooler.

How did you get multiple SVG files into the same project? I was trying to combine a couple for a simple fall sign, but couldn’t get it to work. Thanks!

Use the Import External File icon:


Just like @WillAdams said, I downloaded the svg from the Carbide Elements. Then imported the file directly out of my downloads folder.

I then dragged the new svg to an area off my workspace to do the initial grouping and resizing, then dragged the result into my design (stock) area.



Personal Favorites:

OK…I thought the German word “Bierdeckel” sounded cooler than “beer coasters”.

My new JTech 7W Pro spindle-mounted laser arrived a few days before this contest was announced, so a great opportunity for me to learn Lightburn. I’m loving the laser – highly recommended if you’re looking to branch out. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but lots of great video tutorials out there.

I for one did not know about the Carbide3D “Elements” Library prior to this contest, so thanks for making the community aware.


I bought these thin bamboo cutting boards:

I was able to squeeze ten 4-inch blanks out of them.

In the Carbide3D Design Elements, I selected ten images from the “US Armed Forces” category that would look good in a circular format.

I spent a lot of time learning how to tweak the vectors in Lightburn to redraw and close paths that I needed to “fill” (for example, the flag and cannonballs in the United States Army seal).

Example - Cannonballs before editing:

Example - Cannonballs after editing to close the paths:

On a scrap, I made a test grid of varying speeds (20/40/60/80 ipm) and laser power levels (20%/40%/60%/80%/100%), then selected speeds/power levels for the project and tested again before doing the final burn.

For lines, I settled on 50 ipm/80% power. For filled letters, I settled on 80 ipm/80% power. I bolted a fixture to my wasteboard for repeatability, and lightly clamped each blank to ensure it didn’t move during rapid movements.


  • Bamboo machines beautifully (with sharp endmills), but it lasers a bit unevenly in terms of color. Many threads confirm that this is just part of bamboo’s charm. Burning at a higher power and making multiple passes doesn’t help – there will always be variations due to the inconsistent nature of the laminated strips of bamboo.

  • Every type of wood seems to have a different sweet spot for laser settings. Bamboo, maple and basswood are all light-colored, but testing showed they each need unique speed/power settings.

  • Smoke extraction is mandatory – lasers create a LOT of smoke when etching wood. I bought a Stinger vacuum:

  • and a sheet of carbon filter:

I cut it up, removed the cheapo Stinger filter, and zip-tied the carbon filter material in place. It removes 99% of the smoke, but not the smell of burning wood.

Carbon filter for Stinger vacuum. Note the smoke residue:


Bamboo Coasters.c2d (20.3 KB)

Example Lightburn File: (215.0 KB)

Cutrocket Link: Laser Bierdeckel by ScottsdaleSteve


I do wonder if the vacuum is over spinning the fan causing it to generate enough current to back feed the power board? I guess it wouldn’t be enough to cause damage. If the Vac is annoying to listen to you could always use a ducted fan with some lightweight ducting with the filter to do the same job with less power draw and sound.

I also see no noticeable difference between 80% and 100% so it’s smart to keep the diode current down as it reduces the heat that needs to be dissipated by 20% possibly prolonging the diode life.

Good point - I think I’ll block off the top half of the exhaust intake, so it doesn’t potentially interfere with the laser fan.

Ha. It’s incredibly annoying. It screams like a banshee, so I have to wear eye AND ear protection to use the laser.

Agree. I’ve read that 100% power is bad for the long term health of a diode laser.

This is the exhaust fan I meant to link

Cheap and way less noise!

1 Like

Here is my submission. It is a PG version of a wine holder that I’ve made in the past.
File used: HappyStPatricksDay_5.svg

I resized the file to fit my material and did some boolean operations to merge the image with an already created bottom section.
paddy wine holder

Detail- No-offset contour, depth of .005, 20 degree v-bit.
Inside and outside contours-1/8" compression bit at full depth.

Material: 1/4" MDF.

Process: Carved, sanded, 2 coats of sanding sealer, spray paint, sand off the overspray.

I ended up deleting some of the detail in the face due to tear-out on the first 2 attempts (using 1/4" ply). I also deleted the text as it wasn’t visible with the wine bottle inserted.

Issues-The first attempt on plywood I had a lot of tear-out and chipping on the detail. On the second attempt, I slowed down my feed and it turned out a little better but when I sanded off the over-spray, I went through the top layer of plywood in some spots. Third attempt using MDF. I still had some tear-out (see the buttons on the vest) so I slowed down the feed more and the last button turned out like it should.



Back side with new brand

Brand closeup

OK, I hesitated to post this, but @gallionl set the tone with a humorous entry so here goes. Admittedly not my finest work, but this new laser is fun! I have a Treager pellet smoker, and you truly don’t need teef nor a fork to eat a smoked brisket off this thing.

I’ve always been interested in one of those branding irons to personalize projects, but never got one. With the new laser, I designed a small logo. This is my first project to get branded.

The grills and BBQ tools are straight from the “BBQ” category in the Carbide3D design elements.

The “smoke” above the grills is modified from the Flourishes_19.svg design element.

Basswood, JTech 7 Watt Pro Laser, 60 inches/minute, 60% power, .006” line interval.


Cutrocket Link: BBQ Sign by ScottsdaleSteve


Final day of the challenge, let’s see if we get a few last minute entries!


Im a slacker and just started today. Thought we had longer to go. I am working on making some Halloween decorations for the yard.

This was my first try cutting foamular from menards. Here is progress so far. Hoping to get painted later today and post write up.


My wife and my mother in law have started putting out their fall decorations. I wanted to make something simple that they would both like. I have been looking for little simple projects to do for them that will get them to ask for other projects. I usually have a stack of the 20x20 Russian birch plywood panels from Menards for little projects like this. It is a simple and quick pumpkin cutout that can be decorated however you want.

I used a Amana 1/4 inch down cut bit, it is number 322 in carbide create. I ran the bit at 90 IPM with a 0.104 depth of cut. It cut great except it left a pretty frayed edge on the bottom. I think for doing simple cut outs in plywood I want to get a compression bit.

With it being 1/2 inch plywood and pretty thin it is lightweight. I was a little worried while removing the tabs and sanding because it is also very fragile feeling. I have uploaded the project to Cutrocket here. Its nice because it only takes about 10 minutes to cut so if you were wanting to batch out several of them it would be pretty easy.


Look up mooning monkey Aloha tattoo for a another adult wine rack. I couldn’t believe my buddy got one on his leg. I won’t link it for obvious reasons.

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I’ve been wanting to try out metal cutting for a while, but it’s pretty intimidating — a lot less forgiving than what I’ve tried before (wood, foam board, and plastic).

I decided to start out by carving some coins. At first I wasn’t sure if it was legal, but as far as I can tell, it’s only illegal to modify US coins to look like other currency — turning them into non-currency is fine.

I’m using nickels, because they’re thicker than any other common us coin. I took inspiration from this post for a coin vise: Work Holding Solutions: The Soft Vise for Engraving.

I modeled the vise in Fusion 360, with the diameter of the coin area slightly smaller than a nickel. That way I could use a flathead screwdriver to wedge open the gap, place the nickel in, and have it firmly stuck in there.

After a few prints to dial in the dimensions, I mounted it to the hybrid table on my Shapeoko Pro.

For this proof of concept, I wanted a simple design, and Halloween_JackOLanterns_1 from Design Elements was perfect. I used the default feeds and speeds for Aluminum in Carbide Create to face and pocket the design.

I screwed up the zeroing on the first try, but the second try went really well :slight_smile:



With that success under my belt, I wanted to try something more complicated. I moved over to Fusion 360, and pulled the center design out of Celtic_Shield_2 in Design elements. I started by pocketing the flat areas with the 1/16" flat end mill I used on the first design, then moved to a 1/32" ball end mill for the details. The simulations were looking great:

However, in trying to dial in the feeds and speeds in Fusion, I actually broke both of the 1/16" end mills I had, so that design is going to have to wait until I can get new ones delivered :frowning:



Got mine finished. [Cutrocket link](

I used the tombstone from the Halloween design elements.

For material I used a 2" thick sheet of Foamular from Menards. It was around 27$ for a 4x8 sheet. The size of the tombstone I made was 12"x15"

The Gator clamps worked great to hold it down. Probably couldve used longer bolts if I had them.
For bits I used
-RC-2243 1" spoilboard to clear out the main recessed in area quicker.

  • 1/4" Endmill to make recessed area corners sharper (optional step)
  • RC-1148 60 Degree V bit
  • 1/4" Endmill to cut shape out. Mine was not long enough to cut 2" , needed to use jigsaw and clean up with flush trim router bit at router table.

Cut pretty well at 100ipm and the Makita router at lowest setting. The fuzzy’s in the lettering cleaned up good using a toothbrush.

For paints I used. Was limited to what was left in stock at Menards.

  • Rustoleum bonding primer (not best choice, eats in to material but also gives weathered look)
  • Rustoleum chalked aged gray ( was only gray paint store had, does provide nice contrast to primer though)

Overall I think it came out quite well for my first try. No one will be getting up close and it looks good while standing a few feet away. Now to figure a way to mount to the lawn.


Try a helical plunge and adaptive tool path as nickel is pretty hard and I don’t know if my eyes are tricking me but it looks like the coin starts to lift out of the clamp slightly.

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I would just get 2 little pieces of reward from menards. They have little 2 ft pieces. Drive them into the ground about a foot apart and a foot deep then you can push the foam down onto them. Should be fairly secure. I might test it on a scrap piece of the foam first though.