A quick jack-o-lantern modeled and (vertex) painted in Nomad Sculpt on the iPad, animated in Blender.

Depthmaps Straight from Nomad Sculpt

This is an update to my last post on modeling Celtic knots in Nomad Sculpt and creating depthmaps in Blender to carve with laser engravers and CNC machines. A newer feature in Nomad Sculpt makes it possible to export a depthmap directly, without having to go through Blender. A checkbox option in the debug menu (named “Heightmap”) switches to a depthmap view, which can be exported as a render. For best results, use a bitmap editor to spread the dynamic range.

I made a short video with a walkthrough:

Celtic Knots in 3D

I came up with a relatively simple workflow for creating 3D models of Celtic knots, used those to create depth maps and, used the depth maps to do 3D carvings on the Glowforge and the Nomad 883 desktop CNC. The modeling process goes from a pencil sketch through Inkscape to produce a reference image, then into Nomad Sculpt (which has no direct association with the Nomad 883 CNC machine, despite the name collision) on the iPad to model the knot. I exported the knot models to Blender to make the depth maps, which are, in turn, used by the Glowforge UI and MeshCAM to create appropriate jobs for their respective machines.

If you are interested in modeling Celtic knots in 3D, I made a video walking through the workflow. It’s longer than a lot of my videos at around 16 minutes but, I try not to waste too much of your time watching software interface fumbling or machines running. There are also chapter markers in the video description if you just want a particular segment. Let me know if you find any of it useful.

Celtic Spirals Bookmarks

This kirigami Celtic spirals bookmark is a variant of the pattern I used for embossing the purple velvet for the last dice bag. The gold and the smoke blue ribbon both look really good with the ice gold stock.

Slotted Dice Reliquary

I had an idea for a slotted tripod stand design and, thought it would be fun to work out the details. These dice reliquaries are the result.

These are laser-cut from walnut and cherry plywood with edges colored with copper and silver metallic Sharpies, respectively. I also finished my MDF prototype with Black 3.0.

I made a short video showing of the design and manufacturing process, along with some beauty shots.

Purple Velvet Embossed Celtic Spirals Dice Bag

I made another dice bag with a new embossed velvet design.  Some incremental improvements to the process for making the embossing plate: I switched to using 3M 468MP Adhesive Transfer Tape for the glue-up.  It seems every bit as solid as the wood glue and, was a lot less hassle.  More of the details are covered in the short update video below.

The kumihimo drawstring for this bag was done with glow floss for one of the colors and purple for the other.  The glow from the floss is noticeable in the dark but, not especially bright.

By comparison, the 3D resin printed glow-in-the-dark skull beads are quite bright, especially after charging up with a UV lamp for 30 seconds or so.  I used the Siraya Tech Craft resin for those.

[Amazon Associates links benefit a local arts organization.]