Using textures to create a rustic letter

Begin by setting a letter to use as a rough guide:

Then consider how you wish to create the design and which features you’d like to simulate. In this case we’ll want 4 boards, and 5 nails. Since this is subtractive, and Carbide Create will create the layering / 2.5D / 3D effects when we make toolpaths, it’s simple enough to start from the top down and work our way from the inside out.

Begin by drawing a circle the size of a nail head and positioning it as desired, then duplicate it as needed and drag the duplicates to where one would want them to be:

(it may help to turn off Snap to grid)

Then, draw in rectangles for each board which one wants, and rotate them and position them as desired:

(repeat as needed)

In order to have a 3D effect we will need some additional geometry, and to punch out the boards which are on top from the boards which are underneath.

First, draw in a rectangle larger than the working area by the endmill diameter, offset down and left by half the endmill diameter:

Then, select the boards for the letter and duplicate them, Boolean union them

and then drag them back into alignment with the originals:

Starting from left–right we will arrange the boards as under-over-under-over, so we duplicate the third and fourth boards (counting from the left) drag the duplicates back into alignment and then punch the duplicates (which are on top) out of the originals (which are on the bottom)

Select the bottom board first, then control-click on the board on top of it so that it has a dotted selection appearance which indicates it is the key object:

This points up that we should have arranged to boards so that a decent amount of material would be left, ideally all connected for simplicity’s sake.

Note that the third board will need to be punched out twice since it is overlapped by two boards:

Now it’s a matter of setting up the layering — we’ll need 3 separate layers:

  • nails — these will be left uncut as the stock surface and will be defined by a pocket made by selecting the circles and the outer geometry cut to 3mm depth
  • top two boards — these will be defined by a pocket cut starting from a depth of 3mm and down to 9mm which is made up of the outer geometry and the two boards and two nails (cutting the nails to different heights is left as an exercise for the reader)
  • the combined boards — these will be defined as a pocket starting at 9mm and cut down to 15 using the unioned boards and the outer geometry

Please see: for the details of assigning toolpaths

It may be necessary to drag geometry out of the way of the selection since things slightly overlap:

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Then, select each bit of geometry which represents a board and assign a suitable texture toolpath to it which starts at the correct depth:

After assigning textures you should arrive at a file which previews something like:

and which will hopefully cut well.


rustic-W-1.c2d (288.5 KB)