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3D Carved Face

Patrick Rainsberry

Project by

Patrick Rainsberry
Alta Loma, USA

General Information

I’ve been at a few events recently where various companies are offering to scan your face… Do it. Haha who doesn’t want one of these?

The key is to ask them to convert the point cloud into a NURBS surface for you.

I got this done by the folks at Next Engine at Siggraph in LA.

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Download Fusion 360 here:
After installation create an account to login. Fusion 360 is free for non-commercial use. It will start in a 30 day trial. At the end of the trial you can either purchase a license for $300/year for commercial use or select that you will be using it as a student, hobbyist or startup which allows you to use it free .

When you launch Fusion you will be in a new design.


Get Face Scan

This set of steps will work for any generic surface data you have. In this case I am using a face scan that was done on a Next Engine Scanner.

They scanned my face from 3 positions and then stiched the scans together and generated NURBS geometry in their software.

This tutorial assumes you have already converted the scan data to NURBS (surfaces). Scan data is typically “polygons” like an STL if you have ever 3D printed something. This data is not conducive for standard CAD/CAM design practices. If you can’t get it into surfaces and only have the scan, there are some different techniques you can use in Fusion if there are less than 10,000 triangles but the quality will nearly be as good.


Import the Scan Data

Select File→ New file from design
Select your scan surfaces.
This should be either and igs or stp file


Move the Geometry

Select 4 view ports
Select the move command under modify
Rotate the data so that it is oriented correctly against the origin


Sketch a Profile

Create a new sketch
Draw a centerline
Draw a spline to cut out the profile you want
Draw two construction lines; make sure they are horizontal
Create a tangent constraint to each line
Mirror the spline
Make the three straight lines construction geometry


Extrude a surface

Make sure you are in the “Patch” environment
Extrude the sketch profile as a surface



Use this new surface a trim tool
Select the areas of the face to remove


Create a Patch

Select the bottom of the extrude
Creates a closed bottom


Boundary Fill

Create→Boundary Fill
Select the 3 surfaces
In the second box select the empty check box in the screen
Hide unnecessary construction geometry


Move Face

Select the bottom face
Drag the face up to just below the face surface


Draw a box

Draw a box the size of your stock
In this case 5X5X2


Position the Face

Use move and scale to get the Face model just into the stock block


Create Style Surface

Switch to Sculpt mode
Create a plane
Draw a square bigger than the stock box
Select 3 X 3 for the number of patches
Select Modify
Double click to select the whole surface
Drag it down to the bottom of the face model
Now select points on the surface to move around
Drag the geometry to your liking
Exit the sculpt command


Split Body

Modify→Split Body
Select the sculpt surface as the tool
Select the stock block as the target
Hide the unnecessary bodies



Select the cut stock and the face model
Select Join as the operation
Select OK


CAM Setup

Switch to the CAM Workspace
Create a new setup
Rename it to 1_8_Flat_Roughing
Select the model
Input the stock size
Be very precise here especially the Z height
You may want to have already mounted it to the machine so you can accurately measure the height from the work surface
Select the lower left corner for the work piece origin


Pocket Clearing

Select 3D→ Pocket Clearing
Select a 1/8” Flat End mill
Set the feeds and Speeds (40 in/min)
Select Passes; Set step down to be >.040 or maybe .060
Select Linking→Ramp; Change “Ramp Type” to Plunge


Copy Setup

Select Setup, right click copy
Select Operations, Right Click Paste
Rename the setup to 1_8_Ball_Finishing
Delete the new pocket clearing operation
Select the little radio button next to it to “activate” it


Create Finishing Paths

Create Parallel Finishing Path
Select tool; 1/8” Ball End Mill
Set Feeds and Speeds (40 in/min)
Select Passes; Set step over to be very small ~.030
Select OK

Create Morphed Spiral Finishing Path
3D→Morphed Spiral
Select tool; 1/8” Ball End Mill
Set Feeds and Speeds (40 in/min)
Select Passes; Set step over to be very small ~.030
Select OK


Post Process

Select first setup
Right click; Post process
Important if you are not familiar with G28 make sure to uncheck this option in the post processor
Save the file as

Select Second setup
Right click; Post process
Important if you are not familiar with G28 make sure to uncheck this option in the post processor
Save the file as


Machine Setup

Mount Stock
I used heavy-duty double sided paper tape.
Also square the material against the machine
Insert a 1/8” Flat end mill into the machine spindle.


Universal G-Code Sender

Open UGS
Jog the machine head to the lower left corner of the block
Set X and Y zero location
Move the machine head a little away from the stock
Jog down and set Z zero when tool is just touching the work surface
You may want to jog the machine up to some safe position of you are not using G28
Go to file mode and open the first file, hit send
This will now cut the roughing pass


Tool Change

After the process is done (~4 hours for me)
Make sure not to turn off the machine or reset any zeros
Jog the head away from the part.
Remove the 1/8” flat end mill.
Insert a 1/8” ball end mill
Jog the machine down to where the tip of the tool is just touching the work surface
Reset Z Zero in UGS
You are now aligned and ready to start the second operation
Go to the file tab.
Select the second file (
Hit send
You should now be cutting the second profile


Tips on finishing

After my first finishing pass you could still see some grooves from the roughing operation

Here is a nice trick I did.

After the finishing pass is done jog the machine back away from the stock.
Jog it down to Z = 0
Now Jog it down .25 – .5 mm depending how much more you want to remove.
Reset the Z zero
Run the finishing operation again (You could remove the parallel and only do the spiral)
If the grooves are still there repeat the process with another small step down.

I did this a couple of times and the results were very impressive.

David Velasquez
Awesome, does 360 Fusion allow to import purchased 3D patterns. 3D STL Model, CNC Router Engraver, Artcam, Aspire, CNC files,
David Velasquez