Toolbox project

Made a toolbox out of a IKEA Rissla box and some MDF. The box is larger than 8x8" so I made it in segments and glued it together afterwards. The vector graphics is cut out in vinyl and spray painted.

I cut it with the 1/8" tool and used the feed and speed from the Wizard. It took foreven ro run the jobs but I like the result.


Nice! Did something similar for my Shopeoko 1:

Looks great! Well done.

:+1: Very nicely finished! The stitching and vinyl are great details. Makes me want one for my tools.


+1 on the nice job, @GuzZzt. Did you slice the sub-boxes in MeshCAM?

It would be neat to be able to use the Nomad for vinyl cutting with a tool like or similar. (no connection with them, it’s just one I saw that fits in a regular collet instead of being a self-contained head)

No, since I wanted it to slice in 19mm + 19mm + 14mm, I could not slice it in meshcam, it can only make same height slices as far as I know. 19mm is the height of the MDF I have.

I have a Silhouette Cameo that I use mainly for cutting PCB silkscreen but also for cutting Vinyl. Nice knife, but a bit pricy if you ask me.

@GuzZzt, you can enter your desired slice thickness from my limited testing of such. I loaded the samplerhino.stl file, which is 1.500" tall. I told MeshCAM to slice it with slices 0.625" thick. The slices, from bottom to top, are 0.625, 0.625 and 0.250" thick, so the partial-thickness slice is the top one. But that slice is a little weird, in that it has a silhouette of the entire shape around its perimeter. I will need to do more testing.

In the early 1990’s I worked for a pen plotter company that tried to get into vinyl cutting to avoid going out of business. But no joy. There were already enough established players in that business and Zeta went under anyway…


I cut the Rambone slingshot STL into 3 parts in Meshcam so that I could make it out of three pieces of 19mm thick stock. There were two issues.

One of the slices had the same silhouette of the whole part like you noticed. I put it into net fab and sliced off 0.5mm to get rid of the outline.

I had a known good STL with no issues noted in Netfab, but after cutting it into 3 pieces in Meshcam two of the pieces showed STL issues/errors. When I put the original STL into Nefab and sliced it into three sections each section was fine and no STL errors showed up.

I have not cut enough parts in Meshcam to know how prevalent this issue is, but it does show up on one of the STLs I used. When 3D printing I got to the point of just running all STLs through netfab to fix things before printing, I have adopted that same practice for STLs used on the Nomad as well, it has helped.

Hi Steve,

This is good to know—could you be more specific as to what kind of errors the STLs have after slicing? I haven’t run into this yet, and I’m curious what you’re seeing. It may be that they’re STL errors that don’t matter for CNC work (because you don’t need a clean, closed mesh like you would for 3D printing) so they’re not resolved because of the hoops the code would have to jump through to fix it.

Could you post some of said problematic files for me to take a look at? Thanks!


This jogged my memory that this has come up before. Here’s the discussion thread on the MeshCAM forum:

@3dsteve , thank you for the Netfab mention. I will look into that.



This site will not allow me to upload STL files, so I put the original Rambone file on dropbox at this link: Dropbox - Error

When I load this original Rambone file into Netfab it does not report any errors.

When I load that same file into Meshcam I need to cut it into thirds because it is a lot thicker than my 19mm stock. I used the Meshcam cut function to cut the STL into three parts. Meshcam automatically generates three STLs when doing this.

The first STL cut generated by the Meshcam cutting operation is at:

when I put that STL into Netfab it shows errors that need to be repaired including 12,537 triangles with invalid orientation, and 9100 holes.

When I put the second cut from Meshcam into Netfab, which is located at:

it shows that repairs are needed and it has 2366 invalid orientations and two holes.

The third cut from Meshcam of the original Rambone file is located on dropbox at: Dropbox - Error
It also shows repairs are needed when put into Netfab, It shows 3357 invalid orientations and 1412 holes.

I do not know if these are all real problems or just mathematical issues from the cutting, but I did see one of the cuts fail on the Nomad and then work after I put it in Netfab and did the repair operation. I think it was the third slice. There are a lot of variables here and I am trying to work through them to get STLs to cut reliably.

When I put the original Rambone file in Netfab and make three cuts by hand I get three STLs with no errors. I am trying to find out if these STL errors matter when CNC cutting… I got a Rambone slingshot made when using the Netfab Sliced STLs and had failures when using the Meshcam cut STLs. It may be related to the cut or just part of the trouble I am having with the spindle stalling when cutting STLs.


I have found Netfab to be a good tool for working with STL files. It is a bit of a swiss army knife that allows you to do repairs, cutting, etc…


Thanks for posting this Steve, I don’t know if @robgrz has bandwidth to take a look, but generally I’m betting that the errors don’t matter for CNC, because the tool-paths are figured out using a top-down projection into the geometry, rather than it needing to be a closed solid with solutions for overhangs, etc… like in printing.

We’ll stay tuned as you fine-tune your tool settings to resolve the spindle stalls. I’m discovering that I generally have to go go at about 1/2 the chip-load I would expect with larger cutters like the 1/4" end-mill, otherwise I stall it out in the wood.

As a result I’ve been running it at the following settings in a “medium” hardness wood:

  • 6krpm spindle speed
  • 0.04in depth per-pass
  • 0.15in stepover
  • 18ipm feed rate
  • 5ipm plunge rate

Even with that it occasionally bites a bit much off, so I may fine-tune that further.


I agree that the watertight mesh issues are likely less of an issue for most CNC work than with 3D printing. I don’t see those as a software bug, just letting you know what I saw. I did my own cutting in Netfab to get clean STLs because sometimes I will make a part on both the Nomad and the Rep2…

It would be good to know if open mesh issues can effect CNC cuts because a lot of new people pull files off of Thingiverse, and in a lot of cases there the free STLs are worth what you pay for them. Yes there is some great stuff there, but a lot of it causes problems with 3D printing unless you first repair the STLs and make sure the part is actually flat on the bottom,… I don’t know how much of that may carry over into CNC, but if it does then people should know so there is less load on the Nomad support team.

Thanks for sharing the toolpath parameters. The more people post that info the easier it will be get started with new materials, and the less load there will be on the support team.

Why did you bump the speed up from 5,000 to 6,000? For a 0.125 end mill a 0.15 stepover seems large, how did you select that?

For clarity, I said 1/4" end-mill, not 1/8" :wink:

I bumped the speed up (and subsequently bumped it again to 7500) to try to find the best loading conditions for the cutter that the machine would be happy with that would prevent stalling. The Nomad doesn’t have the same torque that a big Onsrud shop-router has, so I’m discovering I have to make up for the decreased torque by decreasing chip-load to keep the spindle from bogging down. It’s not the end of the world by any means, just means some tweaking to get it right.