What is a recommended finish tool for cutting a Lithophane in acrylic, HDPE or soft wood? Where do you buy them?
@Ole Welcome to the gang, Jeff.
The bit that you need depends somewhat on the size and level of detail of your lithophane. I’ve done a few in corian and for the final finishing pass, I’ve used either a 1/16" ball nose or a tapered ballnose. You can buy the tapered ball nose from Sienci. I bought the 1/16 on amazon.
I’ve never seen a lithophane in wood, but I would think that you would need the same bits. In my experience, the key to getting good detail is to keep the material very thin so that you get good light transmission variation.
Sorry about the confusion. I didnt mean a wood lithophane. I was curious about finish tooling on wood as well.
@Ole No worries. That makes more sense. The tooling is the same really. On large pieces, you can frequently get sufficient detail with a 1/8" ball nose. On smaller pieces, you need to go smaller. It’s a trial and error sort of thing.
What software are you using?
Vetrics VCarve is what I will be using
@Ole In VCarve, you can preview in 3D your tool paths. This will give you a pretty good idea whether you need to change your bit size. Start large, and keep going smaller until you get the level of detail you want. Remember, the percentage/size of your step over will greatly affect your finished product, too. For example, to clear material away quickly, I use a 1/4" mill with a 40% step over. Then, I go down to either a 1/8" or a 1/16" mill with a 10% step over to get crisp details. A small bit + a small step over = long time to finish the job.