Creating Celtic Knot CNC Patterns
I just found this really neat program to make computer generated 3D Celtic Knot patterns for CNC carvings. This program is one of the fastest methods I have seen for creating Celtic Knot CNC patterns.
I have modeled these before in the past, using polygon modelers. The process, while fairly simple, is long and tedious. I would find an image of the Celtic Knot I wanted to create and use it as a background image. From there I would trace over it with polygons being careful to place the edges where I needed to go up or down to get the Celtic effect. This is very simple to do, but depending on the complexity of the knot, would take some time. The other method I would use was a nurbs based modeler. The process was close to the polygon method, but even more tedious using a rail sweep to create the surface.
Steve Abbott’s Computer Drawn Celtic Knotwork, makes creating Celtic Knot CNC patterns a breeze. You can download the program and read the documentation on how to use it from here. The best part, the program is free.
I have used other Celtic Knot creation programs but they only exported in 2D format. Computer Drawn Celtic Knotwork will export in a few different types of 3D formats – POV, VRML2, OBJ, and STL. The program will also export in DFX format. One thing I really like was how clean the .obj geometry was exported. It was a snap to go into a polygon modeler and some edge loops to add a profile type to the knot.
There is an export feature to export a height map image. I did not look too close at this feature, but from what I saw it did not look like a high quality image. I would suggest to read the documentation on Steve Abbott’s Computer Drawn Celtic Knotwork to get more information.
Here are a couple examples after 5 min of playing around with the program:
The files for download were made very quickly and will require some editing to use for a CNC pattern for carving. The files are in .obj format and are very low poly, so they will appear kind of blocky looking. They will require subdividing and converting to .stl, however the geometry output from Steve Abbott’s Computer Drawn Celtic Knotwork is very clean quads which makes for a good subdivide ( no holes) and very easy editing.
It took longer to write this article than to create the knots. Have fun with this program and thank the guy who wrote it, Steven Abbott, at email@example.com
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