CNC Pumpkin Carving

What happens when you combine a 3,000 lb computer controlled milling machine and a holiday requiring hand-eye coordination?  CNC pumpkin carving!  Taking it to a new level this year, we attempted both full carving and just removing the skin and part of the pumpkin flesh to get interesting light patterns.  It’s very difficult to get consistent light through the pumpkin given the external and internal curvature, 3D scanning and compensation was definitely discussed but without a running 4th axis it’s difficult to accomplish anyways.

Without further ado:


Spooky Ghost

Perfect Toothy Smile

Thanks to Ed for figuring out the cool patterns, and manning the mill for 4 hours waiting for frankenstein to finish up with the 1/8″ end mill. We subsequently switched to a much larger endmill and simple rough mill procedure rather than a full milling complement. Eventually ending up with a 5″ long 5.1mm drill bit to accomplish the full cut for the toothy smile.  CNC carving is definitely faster than by hand 🙂


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