SO3 XXL Project: Aztec Calendar

Inspired by MikeMerzky over on the Inventables Forum, I got cranking on an Aztec Calendar of my own.

Started with 4"x32"x3/4" padauk planks, glued them up into a slab, cut that down to 21" square, surfaced both sides using the SO3 and got carving with a 1/8" 60 degree V bit.

Total carving time was around 9 hours.

Single coat of tung oil to finish.


BTW, would be nice if this forum was as organized (and active, frankly) as the Inventables forum.

Thanks for posting your Aztec Calendar, very nice material choice and finish.
Ddi you use MeshcAM fir this?
What would you like to see more of?

Thanks! Used Aspire for the V-Carve toolpath.

I enjoy that the Inventables forum is broken down by machine type (in this case it would be Nomad and SO3 with sub-sections for SO3, XL and XXL, maybe), projects by users, software-specific stuff (in this case it’d be Carbide Motion and Create), etc.

I don’t see many people sharing the work they’ve done with their SO3s (there’s some, but it’s not a lot), so I wonder if having a dedicated Projects section would help people feel like they can share more.

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High-fives Chris on this, it looks sharp!

how did you go about fixturing this? Did you just use corner hold-downs and leave yourself some tabs when doing the final perimeter pass to hold everything in and then saw those off at the end?

Also, what kind of pass-structure did you use in Aspire?

Thanks Jonathan.

I need to get some longer bolts for my threaded wasteboard clamps, so for this one I just screwed it down in the 4 corners. I did a circular surfacing pass about an inch larger than the carving diameter, then re-zeroed Z to the surfaced area with the v-bit.

I didn’t do tabs, as the 20" circle was heavy enough not to shift during the final profiling cutout.

As for Aspire pass-structure, do you mean feeds and speeds? Given that this was a V-Carve, there’s not a “raster” or “off-set” choice. As for feeds and speeds, I went with 60 ipm with the Dewalt 611 set on 1.

feeds & speeds were part of it, but I was curious what the path strategy for the v-carve looked like from Aspire, and what kinds of settings Aspire uses for setting such things up. I’m primarily a Fusion360 CAM person, but would like to try some other tools for more artistic projects that are less mechanical, so looking at the options :wink:

I’m not sure how to describe the path strategy. Aspire usually seems pretty efficient, at least visually. However, this project did seem a little more random.

… so… screenshots? :wink:

There are SO3 projects on the Shapeoko forums, if your interested in browsing (though it is a mix of SO2 and SO3 projects).

Thanks Adam. Yeah, I’ve seen that too…but it’s just not super active. I know people around here are making stuff like crazy…so brag a little! :slight_smile:

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Happy to share screenshots when I get home. Anything in particular? I can show my toolpath panel for the v-carve and you can tell me if that’s what you’re asking for…

sorry if I’m being a little dense.

Here you go. Toolpath panel on the right. Bit settings in the smaller window. Toolpath preview behind. Let me know if you’re looking for something else.


Looks great Chris,Thank you for sharing :slight_smile:

Always interesting to see how different software sets these things up and how they show previews of the output. That’s helpful, thanks!

Can you share the details on your bit choice for this project? Perhaps a link. I have hunted around for a .125 inch v-bit and find nothing but engraving bits.

Ah, good point. May not technically be a V bit. I used this engraving bit:


Wow impressive, nice work!

That’s awesome! What did you use to create the artwork if you don’t mind my asking?


Thanks @Camillette and @trichardson!

Tom, the artwork is an SVG of an Aztec Calendar I found online. I didn’t design it myself. :slight_smile: