Introduction: Mark Your Balls (tennis, That Is)!

Picture of Mark Your Balls (tennis, That Is)!
You ever go to the tennis court, and have a hard time telling your balls from somebody else's?  Well, here's my stupid project of the day:  The tennis ball stencil.

The procedure is:  
  • using your CNC router, create a spherical stencil that fits on to a ball.
  • spray paint each ball

Tools needed:
  • CNC router, or better yet a 3-d printer.
  • a hunk of 3/4" wood
  • spray paint
  • some balls

In the next step, you'll see how I created the 3-d model.

Step 1: Create Your 3D Model

Picture of Create Your 3D Model

I used 3/4" wood to create the stencil.  Simply make a 3/4" sheet, and scoop sphere out of it.  Tennis balls are 6.7cm in diameter.  Leave a mm or two of thickness at the bottom so you don't cut through.

Grab the attached inventor file if you don't want to make your own.

I added all design and g-code files to the attached .zip file.  Just download and carve :-)

Step 2: Create the G-Code

Create the g-code from the 3-d model.  I divided carving the sphere into a separate step from carving the smiley face.  That way I can make a few spherical templates, then carve different patterns.

Step 3: Carve!

Picture of Carve!

I carved the sphere, then the smiley.

Step 4: Cut Out the Smiley Face!

Picture of Cut Out the Smiley Face!

Using the attached smiley.ngc, you can carve the smiley face :-)

Step 5: Paint

Picture of Paint

Now, it's a simple matter of holding the tenns ball onto the stencil while spray painting :-)

Wash rince repeat!


DIY-Guy (author)2013-01-12

My wife would smile patiently (if I had a CNC machine) and then tell me to cut her a sponge in the same way to do inkstamp type painting on the balls instead of using a piece of wood. I think I'd do it for her too!

ccrome (author)DIY-Guy2013-01-13

sponge is a good idea. You can laser cut those too :-)

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