CNC Relief Carving - Help

What is the process for making a relief carving using SVG or DFX files from illustrator? I can get the files to process in Luban but the preview and simulation view are virtually useless. I can’t see depths or tool paths in any detail and am reluctant to proceed to the snapmaker 2.0 for fear of collisions or milling errors damaging the machine. Fusion 360 is better but still confusing. I have no problem with 3D prints or laser work but the cnc module and the instructions for its use seem like an after thought that was never really thought through. Any insight would help. Thanks

I am not sure if I get you right: What do you mean by “relief”? If you just want to engrave a SVG, it’s pretty straightforward (although: never did it, but I’m 99% sure it works like this):

Select vector mode for the SVG, go to process and select Create toolpath. The “Target depth” tells Luban how deep you want to carve. The step down tells Luban how much it should cut in per path. If you do like in the screenshot 2mm depth and 0.5 mm stepdown, it would do four passes, the first cutting 0.5 mm, the next another 0.5 mm and so on, until 4 mm are done, i.e. after four passes. Where the processtarts you define by setting the work origin at the beginning of the job. Hope that helps…

Thanks for your reply.

Relief to me means that it should carve away various areas at various heights based on the shade of grey assigned to each area in the image. black and white would br the two prominent areas while a 50% grey would fall in the middle range and so forth. White would be carved to a level of .5 mm the 50% grey would be carved to a 3 mm depth in multiple passes and the black to a depth of 6 mm in multiple passes and if more grays at subsequent percentages are present they would also be carves at the appropriate depths. If you invert the image it should reverse the depths.

My problem is that the preview image shows what i assume are the toolpaths at various depths and the simulation view illustrates the finished carving but the resolution of both preview modes is so poor in Luban that you can not see a true image and wii only be able to run the g-code and hope there are no collision points or that the bit doe not bite into the waste board.

i guess that is why Snapmaker sells an optional emergency shut off button?

Fusion 360 does a much better job with the preview and simulation but forces you to jump through a few more hoops to get to that point.

I will continue to test both packages further. Carbide Create and Vcarve both seem to work well but unfortunately they don’t support Snapmaker and are too expensive for an old man like me and his hobby.

Thanks again
Wade North

I know what you mean - Fusion 360 is not the most intuitive and user friendly piece of software I know… Still, the toolpathes of it are good, and it can very well do multi-pass setups, which saves a hell of time as compared to Luban’s simplistic approach. I would not be surprised if even some of the bugs I found with the 4-axis-milling of Luban would present themselves in 3-axis milling.
I am currently looking a bit into DeskProto - they give you a 30 days trial, and with 250 bucks for a hobbyist license, it is somewhat affordable. They offer far less milling strategies and has much less features as compared to Fusion, but it is much simpler to use, and for me also much more intuitive. They have a post processor for Snapmaker.

Oh, believe me: You can run into stupid situations regardless of which CAM-Software you use! The Stop button (or a quickly accessible mains switch) has saved me already a few times, and I hardly ever use Luban…