Community challenge #25: Beyond the limits (closed)

I was more hoping to entice others to post what they were doing :cowboy_hat_face:

Fortunately we bought the 24mm and 18mm BBP ply at the start of lockdown before prices went silly, I think the ply and the American Walnut we used for the hardwood trim was about £450 from SL Hardwoods, it’s almost twice that now. There was then all the extras, LEDs, rack rails to bolt in, assorted M8 and M6 stainless fasteners (mostly from boltbase, great supplier) and some Osmo to finish it off, over £500 certainly but that’s < 1/5 of what you’d pay for a desk that has real joinery rather than Ikea style assembly bolts so far as we could tell, plus it was designed entirely to how this individual wanted to work with it. It seems musicians are quite picky about instruments, racks and patch cabinets on the desk, in the desk, under the desk etc. I just don’t understand that sort of obsession with tools… :face_with_thermometer:

Yep, it was very much echoing the braced girder industrial look.


My youngest wants to be a wizard for Halloween this year, and I assume you havn’t been wizard costume shopping lately but the options are either Harry Potter themed or Gandalf. He wanted to be a wizard in a blue robe with a cool staff.

So I had him draw roughly what he wanted on paper, I put that in inkscape and then we sat down to learn how to use Carbide Create and got to work (It doesn’t look like I can publish the cutrocket project since I didn’t do anything in fusion)

I didn’t have a working bit setter so I made sure to leave a Z reference I could use to re-zero after bit changes (the bitsetter works now and I used it later in the project)
But for my first 3D & first double sided project it went really well.

The routed channel in the inside is for a short LED strip light.

Ok now for the squirrely part.
We had found a gnarly stick on one of our daily walks. He said it would make a great staff. but I needed the end to be a slightly smaller stick.

So I clamped it into the shapeoko

I intended for it to be a two sided machining operation, but due to the nature of the clamping it turned into a 3 sided machining operation.

And somehow I didn’t have any collisions. Came really close on one of the bit setter movements though.
It was within a couple mm.

anyways, that was my random musings as I learn to use this cnc, thanks for coming along on this magical adventure.


Way cool, your son will score some major Halloween points !

You also win the prize for “awkward workholding” :sweat_smile:


CutRocket is primarily for Carbide Create projects, with an alternative option to post a Fusion link, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to publish the project based on a .c2d file alone. Let me know if you’re having issues with it.


@Julien and everyone at Carbide3D, thank you for doing these little contests and creating this forum community. The creativity and thoughts of everyone here always blows my mind. For this contest, I don’t think it’s possible to have a more diverse set of entries, and all of them are fantastic. Great work by all and I’m looking forward to seeing more ways to use our CNC tools.


We run a small art gallery at the first floor of our 19th century house. Having spent the entire summer changing the boards on the house, the gallery deserves a new sign over the door.

I imported the logo to fusion as a canvas and scaled it up until the “N” became 1.1m tall. Then I draw the shape of it.

I had to make a joint on the N as it’s too large for my shapeoko XL, which also allows me to enter this challenge! :slight_smile:
They are cut from the backside as I cut some small recess holes for some studs to attach them to the wall.

It’s cut from the kind of plates that are being used for concrete formwork due to the harsh environment here and availability of material. Then coated and painted satin black.

Original logo

First assembly


I installed the letters today for test fit, I will update the post with one more picture when the light is installed and they are properly aligned. They are distanced from the wall for a shadow effect.

Link to fusion file if anyone wants to cut our Logo! :smiley:

Have a nice weekend


You know you’ve made your kid a good halloween prop when the grown-ups want one too. Nice work.


thanks :slight_smile: once the cutrocket project gets approved the files will all be available if you do want to make it.

1 Like

With a little luck this will be an entertaining barrage of pictures.

I’ve made standard rulers in the past(seen here), all the while dreaming or something more. So when discussing the rulers with a coworker two years ago, he wanted to make one for his daughter but with a little more flair. I pitched a giraffe idea and when you see below, priced out.

Here is the photo it is all based on:

Unfortunately he backed away from the project when I said it would be ~$200CAD. After a brief description of the planning, painting, lasering, routing, sanding and touch ups he still thought it was too much money to pay for custom :roll_eyes:. So the design goes into archives. I was really jazzed to make it as I wanted another crack at 2+ stage tiling. When this contest was announced it was game time.

On my only other tiling projects I set up a fence along the Y axis and machined it parallel as a reference surface, then by making pencil marks on the fence and workpiece I VEEEERY carefully slid the workpiece down 736.314159265mm. This proved to be super time consuming and stressful. This time around I thought registration dowels would be a great experiment. Spoilers: WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.

Having no plywood on hand, having just picked up 1"x10"x14’ pine boards and no reason to make ANOTHER trip to the store, I decided to double down on things I’ve always wanted to make and created a dowel centering jig. So this will be a two for one build post. Here is the design I settled on after a quick google image search.

All the materials I had laying around already, the white oak was an off cut from a cabinet maker acquaintance, bearings were extras from when my dad was into roller blades (so the standard 8x22x7mm shielded bearing), precision ground 8mm steel shafts from an old printer I tore apart ~3 years ago.

After reading the below thread:

I didn’t think it possible to machine an 8mm pocket with tight tolerance through 1-1/16" white oak. But after playing with Radial Stock to Leave and a Contour Toolpath, the holes for the locating pins was perfectly sized, a quick chamfer on the steel dowels and tap,tap,tap the jig is basically complete.

The keen eye will see that the slots dont come close enough to the center of the drill hole. which lead me to get creative with the second set of holes.

Here is the Cutrocket link: Dowel Centering Jig by TysonD

All set, or so I thought. If only I had a complete set of drill bits instead of multiple incomplete used/discarded sets dating back 30 years, not to mention there is no chance any of them are metric. Luckliy a 5/16" (7.94mm) twist drill bit with positive depth control is a beautifully snug fit.

Next step is to use the dowel jig!
I decided on 1 foot spacing between dowels. Which is retro spec was a little too far apart. Remember when i said “get creative with the second set of holes” Things were JUST off perfect.

Success! Dry fit passed

On to lamination. It was kind of rushed and halfway through I realized how crucial cauls would be. But it turned out well.

After scrapping off squeeze out and 10mins with my ROS using 180grit, it was time to paint.

Behr River Forest base, dollar store green and shiny green sponged on to to achieve texture/scales/camo lol, it’s simple but I was pleased with how it turned out.

Now is where I change gears and write two macros to easily switch between by Dewalt Router with 1/8" collet to and JTech 2.8W laser. I chose to do it this way because I figured it would be beneficial to watch the machine move into place rather than use the G54 offset options. However I will revisit these for a better understanding.

Router to Laser

G90 G21 G53 G40 M5
G00 Z10 (Clearance)
G00 X0 Y0 Z10 (Return)
G00 X-73 Y86.0 Z7 F2000 (From Router to Laser)
G01 M3 S1000 (BLAST LASER!!!)
G4 P0.5
G01 M5
G10 L20 P1 X0Y0Z0 (Set current position as origin)
(G00 X0 Y0 Z10 (Return)
G00 Z7 (Tool atop workpiece)

This is the moment my Rpi that lives in dust city next to the machine becomes SUPER unreliable. (Which I’ll have to make a separate post about just get to the bottom of.) So I copied the macros into text files and loaded them for tool changes. Slight inefficiency but it still works.

There were many considerations to make when keeping the laser attached to the carriage the whole time for efficient tool changes.

Laser focal length ~40mm
Keeping the end mill safe while lasering (min 2mm clear above tallest clamp)
thickness of material 20mm
Height of collet vs lowers point on laser
Large work envelope in XY plane, can the laser and router reach all features?
Were did I have spoil board meat to support a 8mm dowel

Because of this it took 30mins to finally set the origin point on my XXL table. The video below is the clearance the laser gets while drill the locator holes.

The job is broken down into 3 setups, This is the first time I’ve had features continue through a tiling boundary, so this was the test where dowels could REALLY excel. I used a sketch to plan out where the model would be cut out of the stock, placement of locator dowels. Used the lines from the sketch to create construction planes to then split the body, forming perimeter lines broken at the tiling boundaries which I could select using the ALT key in F360.

Invisible transition between tiling sections, looks like there is something to this method. Small 4x4 triangular tabs hold the dino in place as the profile is cut out.

I like to play it close like my name is Glenn. Lasering went off without a hitch 1350mm/min @ 36% power. It left a very fine, deep but soft black char on the wood paint. This will later get sealed with either poly or shellac.

It’s coming together! Oh yeah this is my shop.

After some acrylic paint. It is finished!

Unfortunately little munchkins are just getting over colds so I couldn’t make a production of picture time.

Cutrocket file to follow.

Lesson’s Learned:
Paint highlights imperfections in sanding
Dowel joinery is pretty dope ( must test lamination strength)
Four Locator Dowels seem to be a superior tiling method (tests to be done as a flip jig)
Router to Laser tool changes aren’t difficult and open up many designs/details.
Downcut bits retain enough sawdust to relax the need for tabs


I have gone off the deep end with my Overlanding preparation and decided the molle solutions out there didn’t fit my specific needs as well as I had hoped.

I used a cheap 2.5 mm single flute bit to cut everything and turned the whole panel 180 degrees lining up some quick registration marks. I was conservative with the feeds and speeds because this was the first time with starboard and I had only purchased one piece.

I made inserts to come in from the back and nailed the tolerances the first time. Using some all thread I hammered the inserts(10-24). I used them to mount the quick fists in the desired locations.

Using elevator bolts, spacers, washers, and nylock nuts to pull everything together.

I am going to cut rocket next to load the files with speeds and feeds for everything. Truck Molle Panel and Insert by shallowcreek


Cool! I’ve wanted to make one of these too.

1 Like

Custom Catan board (with lights)

Settlers of Catan has been a popular past time for me and my friends, especially the online version ( during this past year. Thus, my board was designed around the style of Colonist’s version of the game.

Initializing sequence

Dice roll

The board is larger than my Shapeoko Pro XL’s cutting area (in red), and has features on both sides. There are a total of 3 operations, tiled with a 180º rotation and a 180º flip.

I happened to have some SMW 1/4" pins so I drilled 1/4" holes in my wasteboard and added two holes at the same locations in my design (and centered).

Half of the design was cut at once, then flipped 180º.

Top of the board finished, magnets added

Making the tiles
Tiles cut from bamboo cutting boards. Bamboo is such a nice material to work with.

Resources engraved with a laser, since the designs are a bit too small and delicate for a CNC router (especially the wheat)

Epoxy filled, and surfaced

Adding a finishing clear coat of epoxy.

I also milled a simple PCB

RGB lights added

Electronics soldered


I can’t get enough of the last minute entries, thanks everyone, and now to vote !

thanks for the help Julien, looks like the cutrocket files for the staff head are published now.


@Julien - Noticed my cut rocket is still in draft. Anything needed to get it squared away?

Let’s give the Cutrocket elves a bit more time and we’ll see.

Is it too late to post to Cutrocket for the bonus? I won’t be able to do it until later today.

It’s not too late, I add the bonus to the tally when closing the votes, so you still have a few days (it may take a day or two for the project to be published though)


Are you planning to share the files uncut rocket?

I was not planning on putting anything on All I ever created were all of the parts that needed to be cut. I never actually created a final plan and I deviated too much from the original plan for that to be used… But seeing others using custom drawing add-ons makes me want to create one and draw it with the Shapeoko. In short, all I have are files from WingHelper, devFus and the dxf file I posted. I didn’t think that anyone else would have those programs, so I did not put them on CutRocket. If you want them, I can add them to my post.

I know the challenge is over…here’s a PVC ghost and spiderWeb for the front door. I did this one about 4 years ago right after my XL upgrade. It’s about 2’x4’ with a 16.5" diameter web.
I was asked about tiling in Fusion, so I thought I’d share the file here in case anyone wanted to see ONE way it can be done.

Fusion Files: (3.2 MB)