Introduction: CNC Cut Pumpkin

I recently built an MPCNC from V1 Engineering and was looking for a good first project to try it out on. With fall coming soon, I figured I would make a pumpkin for our front porch.

This can be cut on any CNC and I have provided the dxf drawing files for you!

I made this pumpkin roughly 12" x 11" with a base to stand it upright.


1: Most importantly, a CNC with at least a 12" Y axis (Unless you plan to resize the pumpkin)
2: 3/4in 16"x4ft board. I used a board from the local home depot. Link found here.
3: 90° Freud 1/2" (Dia.) V Grooving Bit with 1/4" Shank for the engraving process
4: 1/4" Whiteside Down Cut endmill for the pockets / cut out.
5: A CAD program (I used Fusion 360) and a CAM program (Estlcam was my CAD of choice)
6: Sandpaper (120 or 220 grit)
7: Paint or wood polyurethane

Step 1: CAD

So I started out by drawing out to size the pumpkin in fusion 360. After about an hour, I was happy with the results. I ended up using construction lines in Fusion to ensure that I did not sketch beyond my 12" board.

Looking back at it, I would made the pumpkin to base board mount a little different due to the CNC not able to cut the sharp right angles in the base board for the mount.

I've added my Fusion 360 DXF sketches so you don't have to draw one out if you just want to cut to the chase.

Step 2: CAM

Once you have your sketches, It's time to send it over to the CAM software. I used Estlcam for this step.

Load both DXF files into Estlcam and start plotting out your toolpaths and determine what bit you will be using.

I did a test cut with some spare MDF to see what depth I wanted to engrave the features of the pumpkin.
I ended up doing 3mm (1/8th of an inch)

For the part cut outs, I ended up adding a bunch of holding tabs in the toolpath to ensure that the board stayed in place when the cut out. (As seen in the last photo)

Bits used:

After that, export the gcode from your CAM program, load up the V Bit, zero your work and begin cutting!

Step 3: Test Fit / Finishing

Once the CNC has finished cutting, it's time to test fit the parts and sand everything down for the final step... finishing.

220 grit sand paper to clean up the rough edges and any burs left by the endmill.
I was originally going to paint the pumpkin the traditional orange and black colors but I decided I liked the grain of the wood and I just ended up just using a wood polyurethane spray so its protected from the weather outside!

Pumpkin Challenge

Participated in the
Pumpkin Challenge