View Full Version : Unwrapped Rotary Patterns???

01-12-2015, 01:47 PM
I'm hoping this is a dumb question. I have the new rotary jig and software, 3.0 designer, 3d modeling, pattern sculpture and more...How does one take a 3d model (like Ed Lamb's Madonna post on 3/25/14) and "unwrap" it to make a rotary carve project? I've reviewed the software tutorials and past posts on the forum and although it's mentioned I haven't found any information on how that's done.

I'm assuming it takes other software programs or 3d model files to generate the 3d model to begin with....but how it's made into an "unwrapped" design that the rotary software can carve is the question...


01-12-2015, 02:04 PM
If you have stl importer the software will unwrap it when you save it as a pattern.

01-12-2015, 02:06 PM
Do you have the STL importer? It is the software which unwraps the 3d objects.

01-12-2015, 02:17 PM
If you have meshlab i think you can unwrap with it also. there are probably others as well. I don't know how to on any that I have. Stl importer does it for me so I don't need to.

01-12-2015, 03:33 PM
have you watched the rotary tutorials?
I think they will answer your question.


01-12-2015, 10:10 PM
Un fortunately...I think I've got it...although I have Designer 3.0, rotary software, 3D Modeling, Pattern Sculptor, etc...I don't have the STL importer...

So Pattern Sculptor will import STL files to convert them to a relief style map, but does not "unwrap" them or convert to the CW rotary style carving?

Looks like another $200 mistake on my part.

01-12-2015, 10:21 PM
Unfortunately, it is expensive to get all the rotary bells and whistles. The STL importer may have been better for you than Sculptor.

01-15-2015, 05:51 PM
I bought the STL Importer. After playing with it for an afternoon I think I finally get it. The STL importer is necessary to get 3D models set up to carve on the CW rotary system. The Pattern Sculptor imports 3D models and "flattens" them to carve on the CW system on a flat board. Two different things altogether.

As far as I can tell the descriptions on the CW site don't clarify this much. The importance of the STL Importer to be able to use the rotary carving jig and software doesn't come thru at all. The rotary jig and software it comes with allows you to make nice spindles with patterns pasted on to them, but to do any 3D work you have to have the STL Importer to "unwrap" the 3D model so it can be carved (or edited) with the rotary jig and software. As far as I've found, the "unwraping" is necessary to do any editing of the carving for the rotary carver as it treats it as a "flat" carve.

So maybe the Pattern Sculptor and/or the Pattern Modeling Suite 3D Advanced can be used to edit the "unwraped" pattern...I haven't tried yet...

I just noticed the word "relief" in the Pattern Sculptor banner...so beware...the Pattern Sculptor is a flat relief editor with the capability to read a 3D model in as a STL file and use it to flatten it into a relief pattern. It does not edit a 3D model or have anything to do with the rotary carving preparation.

Part of the problem in this mis-communication may be the perception or definition of 3D modeling/carving. A flat carve with relief can be described as 3D. There is an X, Y and Z feature. So technically it's 3D. A ball or a sculptor of a bust for example is a 3D object. So the two items, a flat relief carving of a face and a carving of the whole head are both "3D" but very different.

CW Rotary carving might be 3.1D. Four axis milling is X, Y, Z translation and one rotary axis...so it's 4 axis milling. The CW rotary carving system uses the X translation to effect rotary motion so it's not 4 axis milling. Hence 3.1D maybe.

Just my mistake.

Ron Boley

CW late B Machine, Carve Tight, Rubber Belts, Home Made DC
Probe with Pattern Editor
Rotary Jig & Software
1/16" Carving Bit
1/8" Long Carving Bit
1.187 Designer
3.01 Designer
Vector Drawing Suite 2D Advanced
Conforming Vectors
Pattern Modeling Suite 3D Advanced
Pattern Sculptor
STL Importer

01-15-2015, 06:30 PM
The flat 3D is really a 2.5D.

07-28-2015, 04:15 PM
I really need to remember to log in before trying to post. I digress..
A second attempt at saying thanks for posting your "mistake" Ron. I have been trying to figure this out so that I could decide which way to go next in terms of software/hardware. It's difficult to even ask the correct questions without the proper background and knowledge. I agree there isn't a good resource for understanding the similarities and differences between the add on's. I guess the opposite is also true in that with the proper knowledge there is more than one way to "skin (carvewright) a cat." In any case, the post was helpful.

07-28-2015, 05:21 PM
I think the rotary jig is still only 3 axis milling. X is translated to rotation, Y, and Z is radial depth.

07-31-2015, 03:27 PM
One advantage to this forum and also StartU members is to answer questions including what does various software do and what is the best one to do what I want to do. Ask here or contact a StartU member and we will help you make the correct decision. I think I am it for California.

08-12-2018, 03:46 AM
I've attempted many times to unwrap a figure that i've created and attempted free stl figures. I always get the same results the software will not unwrap the arms or legs or anything thats away from the main figure. Does anybody know a work around.