Help designing/cutting a project

I was hoping some of you very smart people could help a noob like me. I have a file I made from a sketch, I can’t figure out the best way to actually cut the file on my Shapeoko 3 though. I have most of the programs I think I need (mesh cam trial, CC, gcode simulators, illustrator) or I will get something else if suggested.
Here is my file and goal:
My File
Using Wood
I want to use the outside lines to cut the entire perimeter out leaving inside of heart solid. Then engrave along the inside of the letters (not sure depth) so “love” is readable. Thats it unless anyone has suggestions.

I am just looking for nudges in the right direction, I don’t want anyone to just do it for me. I have spent hours trying to do it but can’t figure it out and I want to learn. I even attempted to make it 3d for cutting, which would be nice but the simple way I described above is good for now.

If this is the wrong place and there is a better place to ask for help, let me know. Thank you.


When I did this sort of thing for the locking register calipers I did: I did it by:

  • making a .svg:
  • separating it into outlines / profiles / features to cut through, and features to engrave (using Inkscape)
  • first I did the CAM cut out the inner features using MakerCAM — I also designed a fixture to cut out of MDF to hold the parts (you can probably skip these steps)
  • then I converted the engraving file into a character in a font (using FontForge) and engraved it using F-Engrave: (should have been able to do that using a .dxf, no need for a custom font character)
  • then I did the CAM for the outlines using MakerCAM

You should be able to do all this using Carbide Create:


Thanks for the reply and help, I think I can get it to where I want it now, I’ll report back after i tinker with it :slight_smile: Do you recommend a bit for this project? I was looking at CC simulations and some areas are pretty tight.

Based on your trace, I would suggest making the Love part an engraving FIRST, then cut it out. Define the Love part as a pocket and the outline as an outside cut done last.

My suggestion would be to engrave the text first, using a V-bit, then cut out the outline using a 1/8" straight endmill which will center-cut/plunge.

If you wanted to avoid a tool-change, do both w/ a rounded bit.

Remember to leave tabs or use some workholding technique which will hold the center part in place and not allow it to vibrate:

Great suggestions, much appreciated, I think I have made some progress, I think its good but i’m not 100% happy.
Will can you look at this CC file and tell me your thoughts? or anyone else. I have a .125 rounded (ballnose?) bit.
I selected .260 MDF in CC settings as I think I will try it with that first once I am happy. I won’t forget to use something to hold it down, ran in to that problem on other things, live and learn :confused:

Carbide Create File