Processing a complex SVG

Hi folks, I’m trying to make a sign out of a National Park Service SVG. The end result I’m aiming for is something like this.

Importing the file as is to Create doesn’t quite work. The individual pieces I want to pocket aren’t selectable, and those that are don’t produce the desired result when I choose to pocket the contour. Next, I tried going into Inkscape and producing distinct files for each “layer”. Here’s one for the tree (green layer in the example sign)

It’s selectable in CC, but again a pocket operation doesn’t produce anything.

I also gave this a go in F360 and got a reasonably close 3D model of the sign. The problem here is trying to CAM it. Just selecting an area will either hang for hours or crash at some point.

Any suggestions on how to go about this?

The problem is the source file doesn’t conform to the rules which one needs to properly cut files in CC:

  • all areas defined as paths (not doubled up using strokes)
  • no overlapping or intersecting paths

Another is that winding (path orientation should conform to traditional PostScript rules).

You can see a lot of that in outline mode:

Hang on.

Moreover, each region which one wishes to cut to a given depth has to be defined as a separate path — this does require that we allow some overlapping paths, but only where necessary, and where there are such regions, that they perfectly line up, rather than looking like:

I figured this might be a problem, which is why I separated the regions to files. But even if you take the one I included of the trees, which seems to be a single closed path, CC won’t create a proper pocket.

Yeah, you need to ensure that all paths are properly closed as well.

Once fixed up the image should look like this:

And it imports and allows one to assign toolpaths in Carbide Create as one would expect:



Wow, that’s awesome!

Can you go into detail how you found the unclosed paths (the one with the tree I included seemed closed to me) and in general any other processing you did in Inkscape?

Can you also please attach the CC file?

I’m afraid I exported to a .pdf and fixed everything in Freehand — closest commercial equivalent to that would be Serif’s Affinity Designer. Fixing things such as this in Freehand is quick and easy since it actually has a Graphics Find and Replace feature which allows one to search for paths which meet certain criteria and apply changes.

I’ve argued that it should be used as a model for features for Carbide Create, since its shortcuts are pretty much a part of how I draw (I’ve learned how to use pretty much every vector drawing program from CricketDraw, CorelDraw v1.21, AI v3.2, and everything since including Canvas, FutureWave SmartSketch (the PenPoint version was especially nice), Flash (which grew out of SmartSketch), Cenon, Inkscape, &c., but nothing is as fast and efficient as Freehand. I could retire if I had a nickel for every time I’ve asked a user of another program how to do a task faster, shown them how I was doing it, and they said, “Oh, I didn’t know it could be done that way — that’s faster than I do it.”

Here’s the .c2d: (827.8 KB)

I’ll try to find the time to re-do it in Inkscape and write it up step-by-step.


Appreciate your help on this, I’m going to try this very soon! Thanks again!

Will, do you still have the fixed SVG file? I’d like to try importing that into F360.

It’s in the above post.

Here’s a link:

national park service logo for CAM.svg

So, Will, is this the free Macromedia FreeHand MX version of the software you’re using or a Professional paid version? I would also like to see one of my files in the software to see what you found on it versus what Aspire did not find. I’m always willing to check something out that will cut mistakes I make in drawings.

Macromedia Freehand MX isn’t free — it’s a commercial program, now called “Adobe Freehand” since Adobe was allowed to buy Macromedia, but I am still quite salty about that.

Even now, I find it more useful that any other program.

If you’re looking for a program to try, Serif’s Affinity Designer is the best commercial option, Inkscape the best opensource for Linux or Windows, Cenon the best opensource Mac OS X option.


A sad day indeed :persevere:


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A similar example:
The problem with this file is that the central parts are drawn as lines with strokes as one can see when viewing in Outline mode:


and when imported:


we see that some elements were designed as a radial array, which SVG construct Carbide Create doesn’t understand.

The solution is to open the file in a vector editor and instantiate all of these parts as closed geometry — using Inkscape this is easily done by selecting everything and doing Path | Stroke to Path:


and then selecting anything which didn’t change and repeating things and ungrouping and unlinking clones:


and so forth until one arrives at:


Then select the central lines and do Path | Stroke to Path:


and then Boolean union everything together to create the desired appearance — we’ll do this in Carbide Create.

The attached SVG imports as:


Select the parts you wish to be joined and do Boolean Union:


resulting in:


Repeat this for the circle segments or delete the unneeded geometry: