Modeling a 3d hand

I saw this picture the other day and think it’s pretty awesome

It’s a painted hand in case you’re not seeing it. I was thinking it would look amazing carved out of wood. I can worry about the paint job later.

How would you go about creating a 3d representation of this posture?

Is this something you’d be able to mill in a two-sided job? I also have access to 4 and 5 axis machines, so that’s an option as well.

I think one challenge in cutting this with a 3-axis machine will be what the underside and topside of the fingers looks like. You won’t get any detail, for example, between the fingers (on either the top, or the bottom), assuming that you do want to capture all of the detail shown.

With that caveat, I think you could cut it with a flip-jig, and software that supports two-sided machining, for example, MeshCAM.

Where I would personally start, is by finding an existing 3D model of a hand for Blender. There are several marketplaces for models, both free and paid, where I’m sure you could find a hand model (possibly attached to the rest of a person model). If you struggle to find these on Google, let me know and I can post a few. (Some of them are marketed at game asset catalogues for game makers, so search with those terms as well.)

Once I had my hand model in Blender, I’d pose it as I wanted it (much easier if you find a model that has properly configured bones in the fingers…), and I’d delete the rest of the mesh that I did not want (for example, the attached arm, or entire person model), and then close the mesh by adding a new face where I just deleted vertices.

I’d then export it as STL, import the model into MeshCAM or VCarve (or many other 3D, two-sided capable CAMs), and configure a 2-sided job. I’d probably rough it with a 1/4" square end mill (assuming it’s cut roughly actual hand-sized), and 3D finish it with a 1/8" ball end mill. You wouldn’t get great detail with an 1/8" end mill (for example, the wrinkles on the thumb joint, and folds on the insides of the finger joints would be lost) but it would get you close enough that you might be able to manually add some finishing details with a dremel and an engraving bit.

You might be able to reclaim those details with a smaller ball end mill or engraving bit as a third pass, but that’s beyond my knowledge, so you’d have to just try it in whatever CAM software you use, and see what you can do.