Cut Individual States to Hang as a Group

(Josh) #1

I hope this is the correct category to ask this one and I hope I ask correctly.

CNC: Shapeoko3

I was asked by a friend to cutout a group of the United States and mount them on his basement wall. (Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, etc…) I would like to do this on my Shapeoko so I can get precise lines when I fit them together to hang.

Since I can only cut one, maybe two, at a time… Does anyone know of a good method to get the proportional sizing correct on each of the states?


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(William Adams) #2

I would start with a map of all the states and break it apart.

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(Josh) #3

(I read your reply 5 times, then it hit me!)

I am using Carbide Create to create the toolpaths…
- Setup the project to the dimensions I need.
- Input the States I need.
- Re-size, as a whole, to the final dimensions.
- Then look at each individual State’s dimensions to get the correct size.

I had one small roadbump and couldn’t figure out how to get over it. You didn’t say much, but you said the right thing!

Thank you again!!


(William Adams) #4

Glad to have helped!

You will probably also want to slightly inset each state map to get things to fit together — do some test fitting, and be prepared for the need to file in some small tight sections.


(Josh) #5

Since I’m a teacher, I feel I should give an update to the process!

Found a vector file of the USA.
Used Adobe Illustrator to create the SVG file for the layout with each state is an individual path.

Carbide Create
Set my stock size to the material I’m using.
Uploaded the SVG file.
Resize the Image of the States to the Total Dimensions of my project.

Now I am going through the process of aligning all the nodes for each state’s path.
Then I will move the state I want to cut to my stock and create the toolpath.
(I will have to get creative with Texas!)


(Jonathan Anderson) #6

Keep us updated, I’m curious how it will turn out.

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(Neil Ferreri) #7

What do you mean by this statement?

How big is the final project?


(Josh) #8

Sorry for the delay in a response! School ended for summer, had to finish a few things before I could play.
I was able to run a small test tonight. This scale model finished dimensions would be 36” wide. I cut with an 1/8” endmill, outside path on 0.750” thick, 15”x7.25” pine. Testing tonight with Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. (Probably the most complicated of the states I need to cut.)
For the most part it went real well. There needs to be some fine sanding on WV to fit.

Hoping that the final project will fit a little smoother because of the size. The final project size is still being debated, but probably leaning towards 60” wide and about 36” tall.


(Josh) #9

Each state is a separate path. I used Carbide Create and lined up the shared borders by using the nodes on the lines.


(Neil Ferreri) #10

Why did you need to line them up in software? Can’t you just cut each state and assemble later?

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(Josh) #11

Because each state is a different size, I had to import the entire layout of states into CC. (I’m cutting on a Shapeoko3) Resize the entire image to the final dimensions of my finished project, then setup my stock size I am cutting on, and finally move the individual states I’m cutting to my stock to setup tool paths.


(Josh) #12

Sorry, just realized what you asked!

My SVG file had funny lines. Each state had slightly different paths. If you line up the nodes in CC, the tool paths will be the same on shared boarders. Which in-turn, allows you to line the states up later in assembly without too much sanding. I hope!


(Neil Ferreri) #13

Gotcha…I had toyed with the idea for our school. The file I started with seemed like it would work without fiddling.


(Josh) #14

Where were you 3 months ago?!?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
This is the ONE I have been looking for!
I just opened it in Illustrator, grabbed the states I wanted, and imported them into CC.
It has nice general lines for the boarders and looks like the gaps line up. More testing in my future!!
YUP! I think I’m ditching everything I’ve done for this file. THANKS!!
For some reason, the only files I could find were all the complicated/exact map outlines. This one should work great!
Thanks again for the file!!


(Neil Ferreri) #15

Glad it’ll help…not my work though.

Please post your progress on this.


(Josh) #16

Thanks again for the link! I will be using that file to cut this project.
The cutout on the bottom was from the new link.
This one looks SO MUCH better!


(Neil Ferreri) #17

Looking good! What’s the final project going to look like? Are you going to use different stains?

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(Josh) #18

Sorry, got into my summer schedule/family vacation.

Due to my work schedule, I’m still working on this little ball of joy. States are cut and started v-carving the logos. Slow process! Little bits, almost, every night.

Stained some test pieces tonight. Hopefully, going to assembly the test tomorrow to show my friend for approval (or changes). Dark stain on base, golden oak on states, and the logos will have the golden oak piped into the logos and sit to darken.

We shall see!


(Josh) #19

Final Update!

The project is now complete! I’m happy with how it turned out, but more importantly, my friend is REALLY happy with it.

If you are interested in the states, go back to May 22 Entry from @neilferreri . That has the svg file link used in this project. All other logo .svg files were found on the internet.


(Nathaniel Klumb) #20

Very nice. Very nice, indeed.

Well, okay, except for that script A that somehow ended up in the middle of everything, but I suppose that can’t be helped. :rofl: