CNC or laser engraving onto curved surfaces

I’m new to using Snapmaker and was wondering is it possible to CNC or laser engrave onto curved surfaces such as a terracotta plant pot?

With the rotary attachment, it should be possible (although you might be restricted to smaller pots—I’m not sure how large an item the module will take).

Hi ElloryJaye
Thanks for your reply. I think that could work but as you say I think the size will be restricted by the rotation tool/jig. I was thinking more of whether the Snapmaker and software was capable of using the z axis to CNC mill onto a curved surface such as a pot of mug?

Is it technically possible? Sure, given you have the clearance and the module won’t bump into the object.
Is it easy/out of the box? Not really. You also need a way to fix and/or rotate your workpiece and make sure you can position correctly. This could be a challenge on it’s own. Especially for pots that aren’t really cylindrical but have different diameters at top & bottom.

You might want to check these topics out too:

And as already mentioned, the rotary module.

And I just remembered this one as well:

there the surface is first “probed” to make a 3d/2.5d map out of it and use that to transform the gcode. Similar to what @Marco did in the first topic I referenced.

So technically possible: yes. Easy? Probably not. But it could make for a really fun project :slight_smile:

1 Like


Yes, it’s possible. The two important points to be careful in order to do it are:

  • when you are probing your surface, you need to give enough vertical clearance between each point in order to not bump your bit to the surface and damage your machine.
  • the second is to be sure that the curvature of your surface will always be accessible by your bit, this is depending especially on the angle of your bit (e.g. with a bit of 10°, the angle between your bit and your surface should not be bigger than 85°).
1 Like

Thanks everyone for your replies, I’ll check out all the links and read around this a bit more :slightly_smiling_face:

Any luck on this? I am trying to engrave with laser on skateboard deck. That needs to follow the curvature too