The website OpenClipArt.org has a massive selection of free vector clipart. They also have very high-quality designs for CNC Wood Projects.
What is Free Vector Clipart by OpenClipArt?
Founded in 2004, Open Clipart is an online media collection of more than 160 000 vectorial graphics, entirely in the public domain. You can read more on the Wikipedia page.
The site's not overly fancy. You can browse through the pages, use the search option, and each vector image has tag clouds which you can use to find similar clipart.
Vector Clipart means that all graphics are stored using the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. CNC projects required SVG formatted designs.
Your first thought might be that any SVG format design would work. But this is only sometimes the case. Issues like "open" vectors, vectors that intersect other vectors, and vectors without smooth curves can cause the design not to carve correctly.
What surprised me most about this site was the quality of the vectors. CNC machines need good-quality vectors for an excellent wood carving result. Lacking suitable vectors, parts of the design might carve incorrectly.
For my review, I chose only the black and white drawings. The reason is that the few colored ones I looked at had too many vector intersections.
But what surprised me most, even with the black and white designs, is how well the vectors worked with CNC V-Carving.
There are more than five-thousand pages of vector clipart on this site. I only passed the first few pages before I had a dozen designs I liked with quality vectors. I did narrow these down to just two for this review.
Cuckoo Clock Free Vector Clipart
The first design I selected to download was this Cuckoo Clock. I liked the design, but I was surprised it worked as a CNC project. There is a lot of detail in this design.
The download process for the SVG formatted file is free and accessible once you understand how it works. They have this large green button with SVG (Vector) on it. But if you click the button, it simply opens the vector image in your browser.
To download the vector design, you must right-click the green button. This action will open a menu where you can select the "Save link as..." option. The website then prompts you for the PC location to save it.
Once I had saved the SVG file, I created a new file in my Vectric Aspire CNC software. The vector design was enormous, so I resized it and centered it on the simulated wood material.
The first vector quality check I look at is the node editor. I enabled the editor, and it revealed many node points. Most were blue-colored smooth nodes, which looked like a clean design. There were simply a LOT of detailed vectors.
The Vector Validator revealed many issues. For example, there are 850 Zero-length spans and four intersections. However, the Vectric software provides a Fix Zero-length Spans button which automatically fixes the zero-length span problems.
After repairing the vectors, there were only four intersections left. They were so small I could not even see them.
The final vector quality check used the software to find any "open" or "duplicate" vectors. Fortunately, the software did not find either of these problems.
The next step is to create a V-Carve tool path. Again, I used the 60-degree v-bit without a clearance tool. I also left the Flat Depth option disabled. The software calculated the tool path with a warning message about the remaining four vector intersections.
I ran the tool path using the software simulator, and the result was excellent.
Washing Hands Free Vector Clipart
The second vector clipart I downloaded showed how to wash your hands. This design might make for a good carving in a kids' bathroom. Again, a public-domain EPA drawing was the basis for this image.
I downloaded the SVG formatted file the same way as the earlier Cuckoo Clock design.
Once the vector design finished downloading to my PC, I created a new file in the Vectric Aspire CNC software. I imported the vector design, centered and resized it to fit on the simulated wood material.
The first vector quality check was to use the node editor. It revealed an excellent combination of the blue-colored smoothed nodes and the black-colored straight ones. This design has many curves, so I expected smooth nodes.
The Vector Validator did not find any problems with this design. The vectors were perfect!
I used the software to find any "open" or "duplicate" vectors. Fortunately, the software did not find either of these problems.
The final step was to create a V-Carve tool path. I used my 60-degree v-bit once again without a clearance tool. I also disabled the Flat Depth option.
The software calculated the tool path without any vector error messages.
I used the Vectric CNC software to simulate the V-Carve tool path on the wood material. The result looked excellent. This vector clipart was another high-quality CNC design from this website.
VCarve Pro Download Files
You must verify all tool path settings, especially the bit settings, to ensure they are compatible with your CNC machine. Every CNC machine operates differently!