If you're looking for free vector patterns for your CNC machine, check out the website FreePatternsArea. The site has hundreds of different styled free vector files.
The Free Vector Patterns Offered by FreePatternsArea
Their website home pages feature some of their project files. These projects consist of 2D drawings, which you can cut out and assemble into a physical, 3D object. Their project plans are downloadable in DXF, SVG, PDF, CDR, DWG, EPS, PNG, or STL formatted files.
Many of the project plans I looked at are 3mm to 6mm in thickness. So these could be used with a CNC machine or a higher-powered hobbyist laser.
The section of the website I was more interested in was the free vector pattern files. They offered hundreds of different designs. In addition, each design offers multiple drawings.
For example, if you check out their CNC Wall Clock DXF Template Files, you'll find four drawings of clocks. Likewise, with their Black and White Tree Vector Art Graphics, you'll find four silhouette tree images.
The Grizzly Bear Silhouette Free Vector Pattern
The first file I downloaded and reviewed was the Grizzly Bear Silhouette Vector Design. It offered four different Grizzly bear silhouette designs. Hand-drawn, free to download, and artistic bear SVG, DXF, PNG, EPS, PDF, CDR, DWG, and STL files.
If you are looking for silhouette black bear images, these designs may be just for you.
The first step was for me to download the vector file. I prefer to use the SVG format.
This process was super easy. Download past the description and click on the desired type of file.
I clicked on the SVG link, and the website prompted me for the file name and location on my PC.
The next step was to create a new file in Vectric Aspire. Next, I imported the SVG file vectors I had just downloaded. I then centered the designs and resized them to fit the material.
I decided to try all four drawing at the same time to see what happened.
The first vector quality check was to enable the node editor.
There were lots of smooth blue-colored nodes, which was a good sign. There were some busy areas, but there were also lots of details.
So I zoomed in on the lower left, drawing on the bear's lower teeth to see how those nodes looked. Again, I saw lots of smooth node points.
The second vector quality check is the Vector Validator. It did find one overlap and thirty-six intersections. But, again, some of the images had more issues than others.
I zoomed in on the lower left bear image to see the intersections. You can see in the image below four of these intersections.
I disabled the vector validator to see the real vectors. It's obvious now what's happening with the vectors crossing over each other.
I did not repair them but left them as is. These vectors RE a tiny portion of the design, so you'll unlikely see any problems with the toolpath.
The final vector quality check was to look for "open" or "duplicate" vectors. The Vectric software did not find any.
The final task was to create a new toolpath. I selected all the different design images to create one toolpath for them.
I used a V-Carve toolpath with a 60-degree v-bit. First, I had to set a Flat Depth, which I set to a quarter inch. Some of the areas to V-Carve were wide. So without a flat-depth set, it would have cut through the material.
I also used a clearance tool which was a .125-inch endmill.
I received an error message about the vector issues but ignored them.
I ran the toolpath through the software simulator, and the results looked excellent. Of course, you could carve these in different ways, but this was a good test.
Star Wars Free Vector Patterns
I again selected the SVG formatted file for the review. Furthermore, it downloaded just as quickly as the previous bear design.
I created a new file in Vectric Aspire and imported the vectors. Then, I centered and resized them onto the material.
There were too many images to do all of them this time, so I selected one of the Yoda images.
The first vector quality check was to enable the node editor and look for the blue-colored smooth nodes. I saw lots of them.
The second vector quality check was the Vector Validator. Again, I selected all of the vectors and enabled the validator.
Again, the vector validator found some problems with the vectors. There was one overlap and twenty intersections. I left them unchanged.
The final vector quality check used the Vectric functions to select any "open" or "duplicate" vectors. The software found none of those kinds of vectors.
The next task is to create a V-Carve toolpath. Again, I used a 60-degree v-bit without a clearance tool. I also left the Flat Depth option unchecked this time.
I ran the toolpath using the software simulator, and most of the design looked excellent. However, the top of Yoda's head was missing. This missing part was due to the vector intersections we saw earlier.
If I enable the vector validator along with the toolpath, you can see exactly the problem or one of them. It's an easy fix that needs to be made for this design to carve correctly on a CNC machine.
Another option with this design is to create a profile tool path using a v-bit. First, you need to set a max-depth, for example, .06-inch. This approach would then carve every vector.
I prefer the previous V-Carve tool path option. But then again, it depends on the goals of your project and what it looks like on actual wood.
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!