ShapeOko Mother’s Day Project

As a member of Mobile Makerspace I like to share personal projects with the group as way to teach and inspire. I recently made a couple of Mother’s Day gifts using the ShapeOko 2 CNC milling machine. This post will highlight wooden wall art relief carved using the ShapeOko 2 mill and open source software. The web application was used to generate the gcode necessary to program the ShapeOko. The piece is a nautilus image that has been converted in to a vector drawing and then carved in to stained Baltic birch plywood.


The material is 1/4″ Baltic birch project plywood purchased  at a local home improvement store. I prepped the plywood by first cutting it down to size for the work area 12″x12″. I then applied Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain kona using a hobby sponge and immediately wiped off the excess with a paper towel. I let it dry for a couple hours before doing any milling.

The relief image was created using Gimp and Inkscape. Both are open source packages replacing Photoshop and Illustrator.  The image processing reduced the nautilus photo to a black and white image in Gimp. I trimmed and reduced the image to just the nautilus. Loading the image in to Inkscape I used the Path Trace Bitmap tool to create the initial path drawing. This takes experimentation to find a good baseline set of paths. From this point until milling the final job I did several iterations of simplifying the paths in Inkscape, generating the CAM gcode in, and visualizing the gcode output in Universal GCode Sender. The output from Inkscape was a set of paths I used to create the gcode.

A key step to remember when working with Inkscape and is to set your SVG import preferences to 90 pixels per inch BEFORE you load the SVG file in

This project used a single CAM toolpath – follow path operation. My depth was 1/16″ using a ball endmill. This time-lapse video shows the milling process.

Our goal at Mobile Makerspace is to provide the tools, knowledge, and workspace so that anyone can learn and create. Please sign up for our email announcement list or check the Contact Us page to get involved.

Lots to Discuss: Meeting Tuesday May 6th

Join us for another meeting this month.  We’ve had a continuous email discussion this week, and we would like to act on what we’ve discussed and work more on structures and roles, so we’re calling another meeting this Tuesday.

Please attend if you can, we have lots to discuss.

6:30 pm

Tuesday May 6th, 2014

Panera Bread on Airport in Mobile, AL

Panera Bread


Here’s the meeting Agenda

Meeting Agenda


March to May

I’ve been remiss in updating the latest happenings with the Makerspace.

Here’s a few things that have been going on since the last update.

Teen Tech Extravaganza!

Our second collaboration with the Mobile Public Library was a lot of fun.


We then had a planning meeting for April, we came to the decision not to have any events in April.

A couple weeks later we found out about Mini Maker Faire New Orleans.

Several intrepid members trekked to Louisiana to participate.

It was really great to see such fantastic support for our nearest Maker Faire.



Stay tuned for more pics and links and reports….

That brings us around to today, when we made our way out to Downtown Mobile and got the know the Rumor Union at their meeting this evening. They are doing some really cool things to promote Art and expose the work of more creatives and artists, our goals seem almost parallel. I think there will be more developments to come out of this meeting of groups.

Members: if you have pics from these events, please consider sharing them, email me a zip file of pics or something!


Tech Extravaganza Planning Meeting

If you are bringing a project to the Teen TechExtravaganza please get in touch with the maker group ASAP. If you need power or a table we need to plan these and other details.

The planning meeting will be Tuesday March 11th at 7pm at Panera Bread on Airport Blvd in Mobile.

The Teen Tech Extravaganza hosted by the library and put on by Mobile Makerspace is 4 days after this meeting. This meeting is the deadline for project readiness and we will discuss what accessories and fixtures we will need and how those will be provided.

Thanks for your help and support.


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Mobile Makerspace

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