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How To CNC: 3D Carve Aluminum & Wood to Create "Shipwreck" using Amana Tool® CNC Router Bits

© 2017 ToolsToday

For Your Safety

  1. The methods illustrated here are only intended for use with a CNC machine.
  2. Make certain that the workpiece is secured and that all components of the fixture are securely fastened to the table.
  3. Use a guard, eye and hearing protection at all times.


Watch this video as we 3D carve a custom-designed CNC distressed art project "Shipwreck" from 0.07" thick aluminum and 1-1/2" thick wood using Amana Tool®’s industrial solid carbide CNC router bits.

Sketching the concept with a pencil, Pierre-Luc Arseneau from CNCcraze.com draws the ships hull with riveted panels and the gears inside representing the engine. Knowing this will be 3D carved on his CNC machine, Pierre precisely draws each rivet and gear to look similar to a ship relic from the early 20th century.

Pierre scans the drawing, imports the file into Corel Draw and begins to trace his artwork creating the vectors. After creating the digital render for both the exterior aluminum hull and the underlaying wood gears, he opens the file with ArtCam to create and simulate his tool paths. Now that the digital file is prepared for cutting, he transfers the file to a portable USB drive and inserts the drive into his CNC machine. Pierre will insert his tools and center his X, Y and Z axis before making his initial cut on his General® iCarver CNC machine.

Note: Oil is used for extended tool life and to reduce flying chips in the workshop.

Steps used to create this video:

Step 1.
Amana Tool® 1/8" Dia. Solid Carbide Spiral 3D Carving Tapered Ball Nose CNC Router Bit with ZrN Coating no. 46288 makes hundreds of passes on the aluminum to carve out each rivet and panel line of the hull.

Step 2.
Amana Tool® 1/4” Dia. Spiral ‘O' Flute CNC Router Bit with mirror finish No. 51402 cuts out the perimeter aluminum portion that will reveal the carved wood underneath.

Step 2.
Amana Tool® 1/4” Dia. Solid Carbide Spiral Flute Plunge CNC Router Bit No. 46415 removes the bulk of the wood for the smaller diameter tool to perform the detailed carving in the next step.

Step 3.
Amana Tool® 1/16” Dia. Solid Carbide Spiral 3D Carving Tapered Ball Nose CNC Router Bit with ZrN Coating no. 46282 uses it’s narrow diameter tip to carve extreme detail in the wood. As this tool makes each pass you can see the gear design revealing more detail until it is complete.

Step 4.
Amana Tool® 1/8” Dia. Solid Carbide Spiral Ball Nose Flat Bottom 3D Carving CNC Router Bit with ZrN Coating No. 46573 plunges deep around the border to cut out the wood gears for the next process: finishing!

Step 5.
Using Minwax wood finish stain color Espresso brown No. 273, Pierre uses a small painters brush to apply the stain into the deep relief carvings. Pierre then uses white pastels to provide a distressed look to the wood, clear coats it, glues the aluminum on top and then shapes the aluminum with pliers to look like the hull of a ship was torn open revealing the ships engine. Amazing!

Feed, Speed & Step Down Technical Information:

1/8" Dia Solid Carbide Spiral Ball Nose 3D Carving CNC ZrN Coated Up Cut Router Bit #46288
Feed Rate (IPM): 105
Speed (RPM): 21,000
Chip Load (Per Tooth): 0.002"
Step Down (Per Pass): 0.060"

1/4" Dia Solid Carbide Spiral ‘O’ Flute Plunge Down Cut CNC Router Bit with Mirror Finish  #51502
Feed Rate (IPM): 50
Speed (RPM): 21,000
Chip Load (Per Tooth): 0.002"
Step Down (Per Pass): 0.125"

1/4" Dia. Solid Carbide Spiral Flute Plunge CNC Router Bit  #46415
Feed Rate (IPM): 106
Speed (RPM): 21,000
Chip Load (Per Tooth): 0.003"
Step Down (Per Pass): 0.250"

1/16" Dia Solid Carbide Spiral Ball Nose 3D Carving CNC ZrN Coated Up Cut Router Bit  #46282
Feed Rate (IPM): 126
Speed (RPM): 21,000
Chip Load (Per Tooth): 0.002"
Step Down (Per Pass): 0.039"

1/8" Dia Solid Carbide Spiral Flat Bottom 3D Carving CNC ZrN Coated Up Cut Router Bit  #46573
Feed Rate (IPM): 100
Speed (RPM): 21,000
Chip Load (Per Tooth): 0.002"
Step Down (Per Pass): 0.250"

Shipwreck designed by ToolsToday and Pierre-Luc Arseneau, visit Pierre's website here.

Purchase the digital file for 3D wood carving Shipwreck here.

Shipwreck video built with Amana Tool® Solid Carbide Spiral ‘O' Flute and Spiral 2D/3D Carving CNC Router Bits, by ToolsToday.


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