Introduction: CNC Wood Inlays - Using Free Software
Doing wood inlays with a small (affordable) CNC machine is a blast. And using free software (Inkscape for the CAD, and Jscut.org for the CAM side) makes it all even more awesome.
Any design either one that is created in a vector program, drawn out on paper, or snagged online somewhere can be transformed into an inlay. Basically there are two parts to doing the inlay; (1) Making a pocket or void for the inlay to seat and; (2) Cutting the insert/inlay.
Both cuts (the pocket, and the inlay) can be done with the same end mill (router bit). For this demo I used a 1/8" inch end mill bought on eBay for about a buck.
The above demo was done using a piece of pine for the pocket side and then 1/4" plywood for the inlay/insert.
The trick to making this process work with Inkscape is to use the 'linked offset' and ' break apart' tools.
The video shows the process.
Thanks for taking a look!