How easy is it? Jill shares her first experience with Aspire and Design and Make.

If you have been following Design and Make on Facebook or reading our newsletters the name Don Harding is not new to you at all.  Don has been using our CNC projects from the very beginning.  Don saw the potential in our projects to help him learn how to use his Aspire software and his new CNC.  Don has come a long way since then and now his family is getting in on the fun.

We received this note and picture from him a while back: 

"My daughter Jill Marie designed this. FIRST DESIGN She pushed me away from my own computer. Then she forced me to run this on the Stinger. How did she do?" 

We wanted to hear all about Jill's experience with Aspire and using Design and Make projects, so we asked her.   The following is what she had to say.

"My dad has been so happy making plaques using Design & Make Art. I have been content to get to paint the plaques BUT, today I wanted to graduate to the next step. I told him I was coming to spend the day with him and that I wanted to try to learn how to make a plaque."

At first, I watched him working with the artwork. Then he said he had to go to the shop for awhile and that I should look thru the artwork to get an idea of what I wanted on my plaque. After I went thru his notebook where he keeps a copy of every piece of art he bought from Design & Make he still was not back from the shop."

You can also use Design and Make CNC Projects with  V-Carve Pro V8+ or Desktop .

You can also use Design and Make CNC Projects with V-Carve Pro V8+ or Desktop.

"I decided to take over his chair, saved his drawing and I opened up a new drawing. 24"x 24" was on the screen. When my dad was designing his plaque he showed me the "ClipArt Tab" that listed all his artwork in alphabetical order. I picked things that I thought would make a nice plaque and started placing them on the screen."


"I wanted to make a heart shaped plaque and I clicked on "Heart shape No.1" and placed it on the screen. Then I wanted roses and saw "Rose Long Stem No.1" and then the "Butterfly" and then I saw the "Rose Bud" and placed it attached to my long stem rose. I was so thrilled to see how easy it was and so excited that I could show my dad my design or my "Hack" as he calls it."


"He came in and was tickled that I got my ideas on the screen. He saw I used a 24X24 and told me that size would take all day to carve. He suggested that we resize it to 10X10. I was amazed that it was so easy to downsize and we did not lose any detail. "

"Doing this as my first design made me realize why my dad is so happy when he is making plaques working with Design & Make."

Jill we sure can see how Don would have been "tickled" to see what you came up knowing you only had a very short introduction to the layout process.  I think we all can answer Don's initial question...  She did an amazing job and we can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Thanks Jill and Don for taking the time to share your experience with us!

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Mother's Day and Fun in the Sun!

John Mordus is back with two great projects to share with us.   With his first project he has created a layout that can be easily customized with a unique message for a very special person!

Mom's Garden

"Mother's day and springtime are coming up so I made a bunch of these up. Used your Mother's Garden No.1."

As you can see his layout was easily customized with different v-carving to make it a very special gift!

"Used a glued up 1" - 2' x 4' pine panel from big box store - can get 6 of these out of 1 piece. Minwax stain - 4 coats of oil based poly for inside - 4 coats of spar varnish is going outside"

Gerry's Garden

Best Mon

#1 Mom

His second project is a little work in progress that he has given us a sneak peek at.

"Experimenting a little for a Jimmy Buffet fan. Still needs some tweaking on the different layers."

"24 x 12" - 1" glued up pine panel"

He used models for the Under the Sea No.1, Fun in the Sun No.2 and the beer mug that came included in his Aspire software.  What a great looking hack just as it is!

Thank you, again, John for sharing these special projects with us!

For more Customer Focus posts click here! 

Ronald Moorehead - Customer Focus

If you are new to your CNC and Design and Make CNC Projects it may sometimes seems overwhelming when it comes to creating your very first custom layout.  We knew that and that's why we have included into every project an already assembled layout.   These layouts have come about while we tested the models and how they would interact with each other.  Normally, with just a bit of V-Carving, they can be customized and in just a few minutes you can have a project ready for your machine.

"I just wanted to share my carving of Mother's Garden No 2 with you. I made the small one first and did not like the way it tuned out with no detail in the humming bird so I made a large one to show the detail. Finished with Bronze Sculpt Nouveau."

"The large one is 11" square and the small one is 6" square.
I used Aspire version 4.5 and machined in on my ShopBot PRS."

It would be unfair to overlook these layouts if you are an experienced user.  As Ronald shows they can be very handy and turn out quite nice!  Ronald used the assembled layout for the project and add a bit of V-Carving and turned it into a great gift! It is hard to not notice the amazing finish on the pieces.  Nice job Ronald!

Thanks again Ronald for taking the time to share these finished projects with us!