Bas Relief & Other Works

Hi All,

I’ve been using ZBrush on and off since the 2.x days. It’s amazing how the tool has come along over the years.

I thought I’d post a little project I did back in 2010. Although we did’nt manage to get it to the man himself, it’s still not a bad little piece.

50 Cent:

The Bas Relief was built up 100% in ZBrush, then exported to Artcam for tool path generation and machining.






I thought I’d post a bit more of a workflow in how I created the Chinese Dragon.

The model was actually created in full 3d rather than built up as a relief.

Once I was happy with the design I used ZProject to a 3d plane. Again the relief was exported to Artcam and Powermill for machining of the working dies.

The final picture is a photograph of the finished product in 18ct Gold.

Hope you like:

love the dragon work,
really nice work on the 50 piece as well

what do you mean you did not get the piece to 50 himself, did he not buy it or your saying you didnt get to hand it to him


Well I knew he was coming to town and made the piece for him with the intention of presenting it. Unfortunately I did’nt manage to get past the entourage so it’s still sat on my premises. A shame, but you never know what the future holds… one day, one day :wink:

i get ya

nm silly need to read more before i post

Hi Again,

Some of you may find this interesting. A brief look at how I use ZBrush in the manufacturing world:

1. Sculpting of the ‘Crocodile Horn’:

Initially the sculpt was done as 1 complete bas relief, the results weren’t bad but not what I was looking for in terms of definition between the scales.

After several attempts breaking up each individual scale allowed far more freedom and movement.

ZProject was used to create 1 solid mesh which was then exported to Artcam for exact dimensions and draft angles.

2. CNC Programming:

I’ve attached a screenshot of one of the roughing toolpaths used.

Machining in tool grade steel is no quick process; you go to fast, the cutter breaks; you use a cutter to small for the job, it breaks. Therefore you need to breakdown each process starting with largest cutter feasible and gradually work your way down in cutter size while increasing definition.

The final pass took over 12 hours to machine. Certainly worth the wait.

3. Working Tool / Die:

Quick photo of the finished tool. This is then placed in a coining press along with the required gold and stamped several times. We used over 360 tons on this piece.

4. Finished Gold Piece:

Photograph of the finished struck piece in solid 18ct Gold.

Finally I’ve attached a photograph of the finished article mounted onto Genuine Crocodile Leather.

Any questions please feel free to ask,


neat im a cnc shop programmer, ive used aspire before , and have a cheap router in my garage for fun
i saw you said you use artcam for the cnc tool path,
wondering did you buy artcam only for the cnc programming, curious to know if you went all out with artcam pro or a less pricey module for the programming

vectric aspire for 2k is like artcam jr, with similar, if not the same kind of programming, where the price difference comes in with artcam i believe is the modeling

what kind of machine do you have, a tormach?

Very cool work!

Thanks Selwy, I’ve just checked out your work, great stuff.

Sorry I should of mentioned from Artcam I took the relief into Powermill which is another Delcam product, very good for machining.

All in all we’ve spent a small fortune on CNC/CAD/CAM products. ZBrush, Rhino, Powermill, Artcam etc etc. The machining centre itself is a fair bit more industrial to a Tormach machine, it’s kind’of customised. 50,000 RPM spindle 5 axis machining center.

you my friend and others that do what you do are an inspiration, art in technology

my career goal is to end up in a spot like your establishment
get to use my cad skills, which im pretty good with most but learning zbrush is taking a bit longer than others, to machine art and get paid for it
i originally planned to buy that chinese 5axis from ebay so that i could learn simultaneous but life happens and funding my expensive hobby is getting challenging

also seen 50 cent has hired ken shamrock to his security

tread lightly!

Thank you for those kind words BOATDUDEGUY,

It certainly can turn into an expensive hobby. I shudder to think how much I’ve put into it. Saying that start small, create your artworks and machine them on a 3 axis. First sub it out to an engineering shop, then buy a cheap 2nd hand machine. It’s hugely rewarding holding your finished works.

Re: Learning ZBrush taking a while: Stick at it mate, learning ZBrush can be frustrating at first but once you get into it you wonder why other programs don’t function in the same way. It’s a true artists tool. Sculpt, sculpt and sculpt some more & never be afraid of starting a project over, it’ll only turn out better the second/third or fourth time.

Again something I did back in 2010. The detail on these was fantastic.

A bit of workflow:

  1. Sculpt

Falcon head sculpted in ZBrush from sphere. Eye’s, beak, separate subtools.

The cufflink finding (bit that goes through the shirt) is a solid imported from Rhino.

2. Export to Powermill

5 axis machining from solid block.

3. Photograph

Sorry its a pretty bad photo but gives you a good idea of the size.

4. Photograph

A photograph of a slightly different variation.



Wow, those cufflinks turned out great. Beautiful work! Love things turn from sculpts to actual 3D real world objects.


Chimz / BOATDUDEGUY: Thank’s a lot for the feedback guys, much appreciated :slight_smile:

Great work you have here…!

Thanks Sigmund :slight_smile: