I'm hooked on V carving now! Mandalas

I wanted to do my first V-Carving, and I saw the Aztec calendar on here:
and did a search.
I accidentally came across these designs called Mandalas: (man·da·la
plural noun: mandalas -A geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.
Psychoanalysis- a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer’s search for completeness and self-unity.

I found out you can look up almost anything mandala. (Adult coloring pages have cool designs that can be v carved too)
The Aztec calendar has been done so many times and ways, that I wanted to do something a little different.
My mom loves goats, so I looked up Goat mandala and found a few. I like skulls, so I hope she doesn’t mind it’s a dead goat :slight_smile:
I also made my son and daughter in law a business sign. They make coin ring punch kits, and sell on Amazon and Etsy. I found a drawing of wedding rings and Vectorized them.
I’ll post pics and the g-code for the Goat.
It’s got 3 tool changes, but the v carve is the only essential one.

It starts with a pocket that’s almost 8" in dia. for facing, .1" deep. Using the 3 fl., 1/4" endmill that came withe the machine. (Shapeoko 3 XXL)

Then the V carve file, which is 7" wide.
I believe the deepest spots were .3" X .3" ish. Using a 60 deg. X 1/4" v bit from Drillman on ebay.
(I found out the router bits suck for smaller work. The tip is too wide. Took me 3 tries on the goat, learning that. Just resurfaced and went again. I love Homing switches.)

Then a 1/4" Ball end router bit to put a con caved profile around the edge before the cut out.

Then the cut out profile using the 1/4" endmill again. I cant remember how deep it is, cause I made it after the three tries.
Lets see; three resurfaces at .1", away from .75" leaves .45". I think it’s .4" deep :slight_smile:
You can search the code towards the end for the last z move. I looked, but it’s a search a word, with so many Arcs in the program. I got dizzy.

The material is 3/4" deep pine. 8" OD. for the Goat. You can get away with 7" MIN.
The sign was 14" O.D. X 3/4" plywood.
I did the CAM in Artcam, but any Vector tracing, V-Carve software will work.

These toolpaths were amazing to watch. At first I thought it was going to be rough and fuzzy, but then They went conventional milling for pencil like cleanups around all the edges. It was like watching a master craftsman! Amazing the work that went into programming these CAM soft wares.

Thanks to all who share their ideas! We all grow from them.
I’ll post another pic of the Coin Ring Magic sign after sanding.
Here’s the files, Now they were originally .Tap files. I had to change the extensions to upload, I hope they work, if not, just change the extensions back to .Tap (Google search).
I also had to split the g code file in half to upload. Just put them in one big text file.
This is about a 40 minute job.

part 1 moms goat .25 v bit.nc (1.9 MB)
part 2 moms goat .25 v bit.nc (1.8 MB)

moms goat .25 ball profile.nc (10.1 KB)
goat surface .25 EM.nc (28.4 KB)
moms goat .25 EM cut out.nc (19.2 KB)


Made another one for my wife, this time.
Got sick soon after, so I’ve been gone for a month, and just put a few videos together.
This shows that with a good CAM, you can V Carve vectors that are wider than your v bit.
In this case, a 1/4" By 90 deg., v bit.



Those are awesome!!! I’m going to try a project like yours next.


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Tutorials are in the air :slight_smile:
I’ve had a lot of folks ask me how to do this.
If you don’t know how I do it, it’ll blow your mind how easy it is with Vectric, or Artcam.
Those are all I know, so apologies to the other software I didn’t mention.
I’m sure this process is similar in other programs, and this will get you on your way.