CNC Project for Pay


This opportunity came in out-of-the-blue and it could interest someone :

Ross Cook would like to hire someone for a wood working project for his home fireplace. He has a 20 foot tall wall where he’s installing a Marble Slab (Rainforest) for a fireplace. He’s looking for someone to CNC cut wood that would allow an appearance of “waves” on each side. Contact him: ross at integratedplanet dot com.


Bryan makes the point: “Looks more like a router project with a couple of templates that you slide along the (many, many) boards using a trim router bit.”

Makes sense to me … perhaps Ross would accept such a bid.

Food for thought.

Bryan makes a good point. It does appear as though the center wave is not as tall as the other waves, but the template could address this also. That, or it is an optical illusion and the waves are identical.

I like the digital approach as it plays to my personal strengths. A CNC template used with Bryan’s suggested approach might be the more efficient approach.

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I know you said to reach out to ross, but thought he may have communicated how wide and long each panel is. Any idea on dimensions? Can’t tell by picture. Could be an interesting project.

I too notice the waves are not repeating amplitudes but indeed a pattern, markings and either router or bandsaw could do the job too.

I’m with Tim on the technical challenge of representing it as a model and then tossing it to the CNC.

Looking for water ripple data and found this which looks interesting -

No idea what the dimensions are but Tim might.
He’s reached out to Ross to learn more about the project.
However, Tim’s focused on the design and would need a CNC partner.

(As you may know he’s currently quarantined on an island in Canada.)

This is really interesting Tim. It could be sectioned by “slice” or perhaps even better cut as a large 3D model (Fusion 360) in 3 - 4 ft sections. The model approach would allow the tops of each slice to be rounded as desired. I have a 48 x 48 table.

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Here is a better look at it and some similar examples. ( just need to be ready to sit in front of fusion for a few hours… :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ve thought of a few other approaches as well - until I hear back from Ross and get more detail on expectations I’m in the “having fun” innovation stage and am brainstorming. In particular, I’m trying to think of ways to leverage the CNC capabilities a bit further.
One could laminate boards to expose the edge grain and make larger panels, then route them from “above”, faking the board thicknesses. In this case, it would be possible to use thicker stock but imitate thinner boards, increasing the “resolution” of the design.
Looking at the ideas of wave generation that Doug brought up, one could even use large panels and V-carve smooth wave patterns.
I’m going to continue to play with ideas for this just for fun. After completing the fruit bowl design, I have been casting about for another challenging application that can benefit from the combination of parametric CAD and the CNC. It’s a good way to learn Fusion 360 CAM as well as some other extensions like scripting, and empirical ways to approximate the waves. Experimenting with splines showed me simple ways to make splines look very close to sine waves, but the engineer in me wants to learn to apply scripting so that I can apply other functions in other applications as well.

The link you provided is a good one to generate additional ideas. I’m also spending time trying to expand my Fusion 360 skills. If you want to have a detailed email conversation, you can reach me at tim dot peachey at gmail dot com.

And Perry, you should know that Tim doesn’t look like his icon image. :slight_smile:

Haha, yeah I was wondering about that. :slight_smile:

Hi Perry, that was a joke from our Fusion 360 SIG. I’ve avoided the barber since covid, and discovered that my hair gets very curly when long. The observation was made that I resembled a labradoodle in glasses, so I thought this icon would be a good laugh.

In the meantime, I am digging into Fusion 360 Add-ins and Scripting as well as their App Store. Looks like it might get interesting - there is a free app called Equation Driven Surface that might be perfect for defining the top surface. Then one could either 3D carve the top surface, or slice it per your suggestion. I will test to see how many points it can handle before it breaks - my fear is it can’t handle what we need in terms of size and resolution, but will see.

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Love the conversation here. I never even thought of CNCing just the top to provide the wave on a solid wooden surface. Totally was thinking slices put side by side and held in place with pins.

Not to add a wrench to the project but can you image it with each slice on a rod and at one end there’s a long shaft with cams turning ever so slowly causing the wave ripples to move slightly?

Even considering if the wave slices could not be of a more porous and lighter material with the top surface being laminate. Might require the side to be a laminate too depending on the material. That’s just going to be rather heavy and require a number of mounting points.

Really like the dynamic sculpture idea. It reminds me a bit of something I saw at the BMW museum -

The light material reminds me of a large scale “3D printer” idea I proposed almost 30 years ago using foam and a hot wire cutter with angle control in addition to moving material in x and the wire in y. The idea was to make large 3D objects from CAD for fiberglass molding etc - but at the time I had no clue how to get such a project funded. Now I think there are large CNC routers that would just mill the whole thing from a large block of foam.

I agree that the wooden sculpture will be heavy and need attention to mounting detail, but should be lighter than the marble slab beside it.

I have managed to model a quick version of this by creating the first “template board”, adding a curve for a y direction path, and then using Pattern along a Path. There are some complications to trimming the full assembly and creating a rendering, but I’m working through those. Once I have the process sorted out, then I can adjust the parametric model to add items like the variable amplitude of the waves etc. At this point, I’m trying to build a Proof of Concept model.

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