CNC Woodworking: Wood Drips on Bowl


For quite a while I’ve had the idea of making a wood bowl that has wood drips off the top and over the edges. This idea is just an extension of the epoxy “drip” bowls that I’ve done before. That idea itself came from me trying to snap wood and create a rough broken edge to pour epoxy on top of. The “chaos bowl” was the result of that experiment, but I found it really difficult to control the shape of the broken wood edges. So, how could I control it? I could CNC the specific cracked edges designed on a computer in CAD/3D, and this led me down to road to making my first “epoxy drip bowl“.

Ever since then I thought it would be cool to have wood drips flowing over the bowl edge. I decided to experiment with this idea in Blender, a free open source 3D design application. The above image is a rendering of some of the ideas I’ve been playing around with. I wanted a basic bowl shape to emphasize the drips. The rendering is cherry wood with maple drips.

I toyed with different concepts on how to create the drips. The above image is the result of me manipulating a mesh to manually create the shape. However, I thought it would be really fascinating to run a physics water simulation to “pour” the drips over the bowl and have them organically take shape. I played with this for a while with Blender but i was never really satisfied with the results. I think it could generate something really cool: unique computer simulated drips, which could be varied on a piece-by-piece basis by changing the random input seed. This means I could make multiple copies of the bowl, but each bowl would be 100% unique. It would also require a lot more time, as each bowl would have a unique CNC code path generation for the cuts.

This shape would be difficult to CNC. There are lots of valleys that are hard to get to with a standard 3 axis machine. I would also have to separate the different wood pieces to get the desired contrast, and I’m not quite sure if it would work out.

Eventually I hope to try to make something like this. Currently I’m still working on my new workshop, so this will have to come to life sometime later.


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