Aspire Case Studies

Forum Inspiration with Mark Lazarz

Mark has been an active member of our Forum since March 2015, not only sharing his creations but also offering tips, advice and support to other Forum users.

I approached Mark to ask if he would be willing to share some of the inspirations for his creations, his experiences and tips and he was delighted. First of all I wanted to get a bit of background to understand how Mark found himself in the world of CNC…


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Meeting: Charles Andries

For the second episode of our "Meeting" series we had the great pleasure of talking to Charles "Chuck" Andries. Chuck is a master craftsman with an acute attention to detail as his work boasts impecible joinery and finishing.

Chuck was kind enough to talk to us about his background and his processes when creating a beautiful customer project. Click the button below to watch the full video...


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Meeting: Dale Hellewell

This month we were able to catch up with Aspire user and Vectric Forum member Dale Hellewell. Dale is a long term Vectric customer and we were able to take a moment from this years Vectric User Group Meeting for him to tell us a bit about himself, what he likes about Aspire and to describe his fall-leaf "Whirlygig"


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Geared Clock & More - John Crosetti

This month we look at the work of Aspire user Eric Schimelpfenig. Eric, a kitchen and bathroom designer is also now the founder of SketchThis.net, which offers training in the use of SketchUp particularly for use with a CNC. The creative work that Eric produces has taken him international, showcasing his work at trade shows, Maker Faires and he's been featured in many online and print publications...


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Foosball Table - Eric Schimelpfenig

This month we look at the work of Aspire user Eric Schimelpfenig. Eric, a kitchen and bathroom designer is also now the founder of SketchThis.net, which offers training in the use of SketchUp particularly for use with a CNC. The creative work that Eric produces has taken him international, showcasing his work at trade shows, Maker Faires and he's been featured in many online and print publications...


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The Curtained Bowl - Euan Hanchard

Euan Hanchard is a craftsman who is able to not only envision very imaginative projects but also use his extensive woodworking experience and relatively recently learned CNC skills to bring these to life. Last year Euan attended the Vectric User Group Meeting for the first time, he was kind enough to bring along some very interesting pieces to display and discuss, the complexity of the techniques he used both with the software and the CNC really caught our eye…


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Sacred Art by Father Ed & The Emmaus Centre

For this month’s customer case study we bring you the inspirational story of Father Ed and his charity program ‘Sacred Art’. For many years Father Ed has been running traditional woodworking classes at the Emmaus Centre, a volunteer run homeless resource center, but in 2013 he introduced CNC machining to his program and now he has taken everything to a whole new level. The class produced religious themed pieces using their CNC machine and a copy of Aspire V8; they are then able to sell them to raise money for the Center.


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Russell Crawford


Mind-Bending Projects - Wally Motloch

At the 2015 Vectric User Group, Wally Motloch brought along some more unusual projects to the event for everyone to enjoy. With a large selection of parts to view it was evident that Wally is not only creative but likes to push the software and techniques to bring his ideas to life. Now retired at 71 years of age, Wally has swapped working on cross-word puzzles for a copy of Aspire and decided to spend his spare time creating some very imaginative work. Click the link below to view a gallery of some of his creations.


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Russell Crawford


Concrete Skull Desk - David Stubbs

At this year’s US User Group Meeting, David Stubbs from Finishing Touch Frames showed us a picture of an extraordinary desk he’d made using Aspire and his Laguna CNC Router. The desk, for use at a trade show, had a curved front made from molded concrete that was covered in skulls!  The process to make this was intriguing so we asked David if he could tell us a bit more about how this unique project was created…


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Russell Crawford


Creating a Life Long Legacy - Bill Catmull

At the AWFS show in Las Vegas in July it was nice to see the familiar face of Bill Catmull. Bill is a long-time CNC advocate and is unusual in that he has both taught cabinet making and practised it professionally. However as he explains in the article it’s the teaching that he believes will be his real long-term legacy. One project he had worked on that really caught our eye was a wooden safe he created using Aspire. Click the button below to view more of his work and some of his students great projects.


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Russell Crawford


A Class with John Stearns

As children return to school after the summer, it seems a good time to share the story of High School Teacher John Stearns. John who teaches at a rural school in Oregon (USA) has a passion for woodwork and CNC machining and with a practical industry based approach to his class; he is inspiring his pupils too. Before we look at some of the projects they work on, John tells us a bit about himself, his class and how he found his way into teaching.


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Russell Crawford


Stair Creatures - Terry Mould

For this months newsletter we bring you the story from Aspire user and active forum member Richard Odom also known as "CarveOne". Richard is now a retired technical engineer but has no intention of allowing his skills to go to waste and has taken on CNC machining as a full time hobby. With a great catalog of highly creative work, we find out about Richards background and his top secret tips and tricks to end up with such great finished projects.

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Russell Crawford


Tiki Bar Cannon - David Mathieu

Veteran Salesman now turned CNC craftsman, David Mathieu is the focus of this month’s customer case study. After recently posting a great debut project on the Vectric Forum we were keen to find out exactly how David had gone about creating it. But before he takes us through his method of work we asked David how he found himself immersed with CNC technology and what he plans to do with his new-found tool…

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Russell Crawford


CarveOne and then another one - Richard Odom

For this months newsletter we bring you the story from Aspire user and active forum member Richard Odom also known as "CarveOne". Richard is now a retired technical engineer but has no intention of allowing his skills to go to waste and has taken on CNC machining as a full time hobby. With a great catalog of highly creative work, we find out about Richards background and his top secret tips and tricks to end up with such great finished projects.

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Russell Crawford


Russell Crawford

Raised by a craftsman who taught others about woodworking, it was almost guaranteed that Russell Crawford would inherit his father's passion for woodwork. To add to his traditional skills he now uses a CNC and Vectric's Aspire to help make his incredible furniture.

Thie quality of his work is made even more impressive by the fact he has to find time for it while also running a dental practice, tending animals and spending time with his young family...

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Russell Crawford


Warships and Furniture with Andy Pitts

In this edition we are focusing on the craftsmanship of Andrew Pitts. Nestling in the forests of Northumberland County, Virginia, Andy is a self-taught, multi -award winning furniture maker that has perfected his craft and created an individual style over his 38 years of experience. Although, furniture making has not always been Andy’s full time occupation, his previous work being a complete contrast to his life now; we will let Andy take the story from here…

Make sure you look out for all of Andy's great videos that have been linked throughout the article.

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Smith's CNC Service


The Flying Quadcopter: Attack of the Drones

This month our Case Study focuses on another project created by the multi-talented Michael Castor who built the Pi-Pad we showcased last month. In this article we focus on a Flying Quadcopter that he built using Aspire and his home built CNC. He starts by explaining how the need for this particular project came about.

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Smith's CNC Service


Introducing... The Pi-Pad

Michael Castor is Product Innovation Manager for the Maker Shed – the e-commerce division of Make Magazine. In other words, Michael has the very enviable job of selecting and testing all sorts of wild and wonderful gadgets, devices and kits sold by them to people like us here at Vectric! As you would expect, Michael is an avid maker himself and, armed with a couple of CNC routers and a copy of Aspire, he has made some very interesting projects.

This month we look at his home-made computer tablet powered by a Raspberry Pi - mini computer


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Smith's CNC Service


Theatre Production, starring: CNC!

For this month's case study, we spoke to the author of an interesting post on the ShopBot forum; Marion Powell from Southeast Missouri State University. The post contained information about how the efficiency of CNC & Vectric software was used to help build set elements for a theatre production of Peter Pan.

In the article Marion tells us more about the production steps he an his team take when creating a theatre set. He also tell us more about their use of CNC and Vectric software, and explains how they utilized the technology to create a number of pieces that really brought the stage to life.

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Theatre Production, starring: CNC!


South Colonie Central High School

For this month's case study we got in touch with Thomas Casey, a Technology teacher from South Colonie Central High School, NY.

After we learnt that the school was using a CNC & Vectric software as part of their Technology curriculum, we were interested to find out more.

In the article we share information about Thomas and his use of CNC, both personally and within his Technology course. We then learn more about three of his students, Nicole Daley, Connor Hickey and Sarah Mooney who also tell us about their work.

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South Colonie Central High School


Brooks CNC Routing

Have you ever wondered how you go from making simple house signs for family members, to creating a mammoth 8' x 16' tiled sign made out of 2" HDU as you can see to the right? So did we; that's why we got in touch with long time Aspire user Andy Brooks, founder of Brooks CNC Routing, to learn more about his passion for CNC.

In this case study we find out how Andy's commendable and fearless ambition saw him start a part-time, full-service CNC routing business which transformed into a full time venture… with multiple employees, multiple CNCs and a whole bunch of customers thrown in for good measure!...

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Brooks CNC Routing


Angie Orfanedes

For this month's case study, we got in touch with Vectric Aspire user Angie Orfanedes, a hobbyist woodworker from South Carolina USA.

Angie shares with us how his profession prior to retirement helped influence his decision to integrate CNC into his woodworking hobby. This ultimately led him to construct not one, but three home-build CNC machines.

He goes on to showcase a number of projects he's created using his CNC's and Aspire, including the 'Sam Maloof' inspired chair you can see in the image to the right.

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Angie Orfanedes


Haffner's Fantastic Creations

In this case study we talk to Doug Haffner, owner of 'Haffner's Fantastic Creations'.

The article begins with a brief overview of Doug's career, including how he got started using CNC and Vectric software. We then move on to show one of his first projects using the technology and run through the production process of two other jobs that demonstrate how he's integrated this into his work over the last year.

To finish we showcase a number of Doug's other creations, including a life size R2D2 replica!

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Doug Haffner - Haffner's Fantastic Creations


Dan Flathers - Daniel Cabinets

For this month's case study we got in touch with Vectric Aspire user Daniel Flathers, owner of 'Daniel Cabinets', after seeing a number of impressive projects he created on the Vectric forum.

In this article, we learn more about Dan's unorthodox entry into the world of CNC, as well as further information about how he created three projects we highlighted from his impressive portfolio. We also share links to some of Dan's other creations at the end of the case study.

We start with Dan telling us about his experience prior to CNC…

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Dan Flathers - Daniel Cabinets


Old West Sign - Mark Summers

In this month's case study we learn more about the fantastic 'WANTED' sign you can see below that was created by Aspire user Mark Summers.

Mark is a professional sign painter, sign maker and owner of The Sign Shoppe based in Summit County, Colorado - you may have seen him posting on the Vectric Forum under the username 'zlmark'.

After we saw pictures of this 'Old West' themed piece online, we got in touch with Mark to learn about how he produced it. He kindly agreed to share more information about this sign, as well as answer other questions we had about his experience in the sign industry, use of CNC and Vectric software. Mark starts by telling us when he first decided to take up sign making as a career choice...

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Old West Sign - Mark Summers


Shane Smith

For this month's case study we talked with Shane Smith, a professional woodworker who is currently employed as the designer/woodshop manager at The Wildlife Gallery Inc.

Over the years we have seen a variety of impressive projects that Shane has created then kindly shared on the Vectric forum, and in this article we learn more about how some of them were made. We also go on to discover how Shane's woodworking benefitted from him using the CNC & Vectric software and showcase more of his projects in a mini-gallery; finally Shane expands on what the future holds for himself and The Wildlife Gallery Inc.

Shane starts by telling us about the first time he started using a CNC...

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Shane Smith


G. Watson Designs

G. Watson Designs, based in Northern California offer turnkey design, fabrication, finish and installation services to clients looking for exceptional millwork, cabinets, and furniture. The founder of the company, Gregory Watson, has been in business since 1972. In that time he has built an enviable portfolio and a good reputation for producing high quality work.

We were first made aware of Greg's fantastic work at the IWF show last year when Robert "Router Bob" Alsup from Laguna Tools showed us a promotional video showcasing how Greg had been using their tools in his business. We were immediately impressed and pleased to see that Vectric's Aspire and Vector Art 3D are both part of his process. Earlier this year Greg very kindly took to the time to talk with us about how the technology fits in with his traditional, high quality design and manufacture and how the combination allows him to offer his clients the best possible options.

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G. Watson Designs


Quint Creative Signs

Brian Quinter is a passionate sign maker from Piqua, Ohio where he runs the award winning company Quint Creative Signs that he founded back in 2000. For this month's case study we got in touch with Brian to learn more about his experience within the sign industry, his use of CNC software and hardware, the production of his recent award winning sign and then showcase a variety of his other projects.

Brian begins by telling us more about what motivated him to start his own business and why he decided to add CNC routing to his already impressive list of services.

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Quint Creative Signs


Smith's CNC Service

For this month's case study we got in touch with Scott Smith, a professional carpenter and self-branded 'gun for hire in the CNC world'. Scott has utilized the power of CNC and Vectric software for many years to help create a number of projects, both large scale and small. He has gone on to build an enviable resume by working on a variety of high profile Movies and TV series including Unstoppable, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Don't Back Down, The Next Three Days, Alex Cross, One for the Money and many more. Scott has also completed many other projects such as theatre and event staging, signage and general/hobbyist pieces.

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Smith's CNC Service


My First Year of CNC

For this month's case study we got in touch with Andrew Coholic to discuss his first year using CNC technology and Vectric software.

In the article we find out more about Andrew's lifelong passion for woodworking, how it has led him to run his own business and ultimately how he was first introduced to CNC. Andrew then kindly shares more details about ten of his projects with us, showcasing his development over the past year.

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View My First Year of CNC Study


Mezalick Design

This month we talked with Michael Mezalick of Mezalick Design Studio, LLC and its subdivision CarvedDetails.com. He shared with us his experiences with CNC how he has learned the Vectric software and the diverse range of projects that he and his team have worked on.

Michael starts by going into detail about his lifelong passion for design and architecture. He explains how his career in this field prompted him to start utilizing CNC technology to secure jobs that required accurate repeated detail that would be difficult to achieve by hand. Michael also showcases a number of inspiring projects that he and his team have completed or are currently working on, and talks about how Vectric software has helped support his latest business venture that offers dimensional design and file creation services to other companies.

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View the Church Booth Case Study


Church Booth

Dean Lutes, founder of Wonders of Wood, has been a traditional woodworker for the past 21 years. After leaving his career in heavy construction he started his own business and is currently working out of a self-built cabinet shop near his home in Tennessee. Over time he has managed to secure a large number of store install contracts for companies such as Laura Ashley, Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma, Disney, Pottery Barn and around 200 Blockbuster Video stores across the US and Canada.

In this month's case study Dean tells us about his decision to start using CNC technology and how he used this to create the Church Booth you can see in the image to the right.

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View the Church Booth Case Study


Tequila Cabinet

Lindsay and Ryan Neathawk from Williamstown, Massachusetts each own and operate their own successful businesses. Both companies benefit from the Neathawk's use of Vectric's Aspire along with their ShopBot CNC machine. In this month's case study we talk to them about their journey into the world of CNC, how it has helped them evolve what they do and they also detail some of the projects they produced for their clients.

Ryan begins by talking about the events that influenced them buying their first machine and the evolutions of their current setup...

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View the Tequila Cabinet Case Study


Custom Inlays

For this month's case study we talked to Mark Berndt who used his CNC router and Vectric software to turn a lifelong passion for woodworking into a retirement business creating custom inlayed furniture. Mark's passion and attention to detail are clearly demonstrated within his products, some that are made up of 10 different types of wood and include over 500 parts!

Mark begins by explaining his route into woodworking, then how his day job led him to discover CNC technology and ultimately how this allowed him to combine his hobbies into making beautiful furniture. He then goes on to share the techniques he uses when designing, machining and finishing an inlay project.

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View the Custom Inlays Case Study


Production Routing

In this month's case study we talk to a customer who focuses on streamlining the software and machine process to dramatically reduce his production times. Adrian Matthews, a CNC enthusiast and Vectric software user from the United Kingdom runs his own part time production routing operation along with a number of other businesses. Adrian's previous experience has taught him the value in putting work in up front to reduce times for repetitive work and this encouraged him to come up with a variety of ways to help streamline some common CNC processes.

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View the Production Routing Case Study


Army Sign

Carl Lombardo has been a professional sign maker for the past 25 years, working out of Mount Tabor, New Jersey, USA. Carl started out in signmaking by freelancing for a few friends after retiring from a 30 year career as a plumber. After learning the ropes he soon went on to create his own business and began creating some fantastic signs, which you may have seen on the Vectric Forum such as the Bucky's project.

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View the Oxenham Design - Revisited Case Study


Oxenham Design - Revisited

"Big and huge, small and fiddly", this is how Jamie Oxenham, founder of Oxenham Design, describes the type of projects his company creates.

We last spoke with Jamie about his work and experience in CNC back in November 2011 when we published a case study about his 'Calico Don's Dive Shop' sign. Since then he has gone on to produce a variety of fantastic 3D fabrications such as the 10' Himalayan Yeti prop (right) that we discuss in this article...

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View the Oxenham Design - Revisited Case Study


Chair Step Ladder Project

Dale Hellewell is a CNC craftsman who has been using Vectric software for the last four years. We had the opportunity to speak with him about some his latest creations.

As a bonus Dale also provided further information about assembling the free chair/step ladder design that he posted on the Vectric user forum at the beginning of the year.

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Chair Step Ladder Project


Wine Inspired Wood Art

eWoodArt.com is an Oregon based company that specializes in creating unique wine-themed products using their CNC router and Aspire.

In this case study eWoodArt's founder, Tom Freeman, shares with us some of his imaginative product ideas and the key production techniques used to create them.

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View Wine Inspired Wood Art Case Study


Oxenham Design

Jamie Oxenham, founder of Oxenham Design has been a keen user of Vectric's Aspire software for some time. He uses the software as part of his suite of tools to create an amazing array of 3D fabrications, movie props and dimensional signs.

We got in touch with Jamie who kindly agreed to tell us more about how he got into using CNC and working with Aspire to bring life to his fantastic designs.

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View Oxenham Design Case Study


Michael Schwartz Designs

Michael Schwartz is a visual artist that specializes in studio (art) furniture and accessory pieces.

In this case study Michael explains how Vectric's Aspire software has enabled him to populate his Gallery & Wood studio with some unique pieces including his VCarve Inlay corporate emblem.

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View Michael Schwartz Designs Case Study


Oak Leaf Mantel

Scott has enjoyed crafting wood for over 20 years, and after working for a production cabinet shop for several years he decided to open his own woodworking business with his wife Ramona, creating custom, one-of-a-kind products.

Scott & Ramona, owners of Timber Lake Creations, proudly showcase their latest project. This 86 inch long oak leaf mantel was specifically designed to fit over the clients existing mantel, and as requested, this piece will surely be the focal point of the room.

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Oak Leaf Mantel


Tiger Tank Project

Al Johnston, a retired hobbyist with over 20 years experience in manufacturing & assembly in a metal production plant, has taken on the ambitious project of producing a replica German TIGER Early model tank at 1/6th scale.

Al's research & desire to prove this can be done using Aspire is to be admired in this progessive case study.

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Al's Tiger Tank Project


Stairway Carved with Wildlife and Scenery

Al Foster was approached by a couple who had recently seen some 3D carvings he had produced at a local craft fair. They asked Al if he would be interested in making a series of 36 panels for the stairway and balcony rails in their house, that would incorporate a northern theme of animals and sceney, to which he gladly accepted.

This case study documents Al's work throughout this project, and his transition into 3D modeling & machining.

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View Stairway Carved with Wildlife and Scenery Case Study


Machining the Solar System

After studying Physics and Maths at college, Gary Liming has spent his professional life in the software industry. However, his personal interest in astronomy has led him to create a rather special mechanical device using the Aspire software.

About a year and half ago, Gary saw his first CNC machine at a woodworking show and was fascinated by the possibilities the technology offered. Instead of simply buying a CNC machine, Gary decided to design and build his own!

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Machining the Solar System with Aspire


Grand Geneva Wall Clock with a scroll saw pattern

After retiring, Joz Britz decided to set up and run a woodworking shop from his home in South Africa. His focus was to produce high-end, corporate gifts in solid wood.

In this case study Joz demonstrates how he used Aspire to design and cut a Grand Geneva wall clock with a scroll saw pattern and how he was able to visualize the finished piece before manufacture by utilizing Aspire's capabilities.

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Grand Geneva Wall Clock


3D Great White Shark

Tim invested in his Shopbot CNC machine 8 years ago and soon required more sophisticated design software to tackle the projects he wanted to undertake.

Since upgrading to Aspire Tim has been able to take more and more interesting projects, for work and for fun! This case study focuses on the latter and looks at how Tim used Aspire to machine 3D Shark models for his Grandkids.

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3d shark


Unique Wildlife Scene Coffee Table

Master craftsman and experienced user of the Vectric software products Don Thomson, has been using Aspire to design and carve some one-off custom furniture pieces.

In this case study he describes how he was able to use Aspire to create a truely unquie solid wood table with a 3D carved centre design depicting a wildlife scene.

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Glazing a 3D Design Created in Aspire

A step-by-step guide written by Tim Merrill to explain the process of glazing a 3D wooden carving created and machined using Aspire. He covers: 6

  • Wood Selection
  • Finishing products to use
  • Tools to use
  • The process of glazing a piece directly off the CNC router

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Memorial Plaque

Jimmy Arnesen - Owner of CNC Sign Shop in Roanoke Rapids, NC and US Navy veteran wanted to do something special for the VA McGuire Medical Center in Richmond, to say thank you for the support he received from the hospital when his luck was down and to honor his comrades.

Jimmy decided to put his CNC routing skills to good use and designed and carved a magnificent 4' diameter 3D plaque depicting the seal of the United States plus all of the US Military emblems.

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3D Platter designed and carved with Aspire

Tim has been using all of the Vectric software products in his workshop for around 2 years, cutting high quality projects such as furniture pieces, carved bowls, yarn swifts & accessories, cutting boards and carved signs on his eZ-Router CNC machine.

In this case study Tim describe how he uses Aspire to design and machine a unique, high quality 3D wooden serving platter.

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