Mold making question

Hey there. I am somewhat new to the mold making subject and have a couple of questions for a savvy guru.
I have 2 cnc router tables and want to start making molds for stone,
my questions are:
I want to import some designs (.eps, .ai, .dxf, whatever format needed) into a cad program and change them so that our tables can do 3d carving on some MDF as needed to make molds. What program would I use so I can change the lines and curves to make a 3d design.
Everything I look up for instance Rhino 3d seems to have tutorials on how to make 3d models like a mouse or face. I don't want to do that if you know what I'm saying. Any ideas on what program to use that would be leaning more towards the mold making 3d cutting??
What I'm trying to achieve is this. I would like to imort a graphic (line art) such as a palm tree or pineapple or so and make it 3D so that we can carve out around it so that it sticks out, not carve it into the wood.
Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanx
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Hmm... Funny how different minds work. The Rhino tutorials that stick in my mind are the ones for the VW Beetle, Audi TT, Cobra, jewelry, shoes, etc... (They do have an excellent forum, btw.)
Router tables... 2D? Sounds like all you need is something to sketch planar profiles and software to generate the machine code (read dxf, iges splines or polylines?). Rhino is relatively cheap, fast, non-parametric. Others are going to be more expensive, parametric and, probably, somewhat slower.
3D? Raised or relieved; makes no difference. Unless I'm really misjudging your knowledge and experience level; I'd say go with Rhino, simply because it's the cheapest. It may also be the most appropriate tool for the job, but it's hard to say without knowing what you really want. More money buys parametric capability, but it won't buy you better shape description tools until you get into the big bucks range (Alias, ICEM, etc.) If you do want parametric capability and good shape definition tools; Pro/E Foundation ain't a bad deal at all (about the best shape description of any "MCAD" application, imo). If the shapes are more in the blocky category I'd look at Pro/Desktop, Alibre... something in the 1K to 2K range.
That's my two pennies worth. Perhaps you've a link to some representative pics?
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: Hey there. I am somewhat new to the mold making subject and have a : couple of questions for a savvy guru. : : I have 2 cnc router tables and want to start making molds for stone,
I got it. You're in the headstone business, carving granite RIP Jon Duh, bobbed when he should have weaved (He's gonna go for that dyslexia cure next time around)
: my questions are: : : I want to import some designs (.eps, .ai, .dxf, whatever format : needed) into a cad program and change them so that our tables can do : 3d carving on some MDF as needed to make molds. What program would I : use so I can change the lines and curves to make a 3d design. : I gotta be honest with you Steve-o. Generally people who go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on routers with 3 axis interpolation know considerably more about a) manufacturing/molding, b) programming; and c) modelling than you apparently do. Locate your nearest university with engineering and tell them your problem. I'm sure they have a Manufacturing Engineering degree progam that would be right for you.
Ya know, if you inherited millions and have money to burn (you better cuz measly ole SurfCAM costs $30 grand), I could come and set up this system for you. Take 6-9 months to get it running right, train people, document best practices, put it all online for your customers, etc. Or, yeah, I like Jeff's suggestion: how about maybe post some pix. (Palm trees? coconuts %-)
David Janes
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