Studio of Bill Ooms

Bill Ooms

Ornamental Lathe Software

Computerized Ornamental Lathe (COrnLathe™)

This software enables the user to visualize a 3D view of the surface cut by an ornamental lathe. Whether you have an inexpensive MDF Rose Engine or a restored Holtzapffel ornamental lathe, you will find this software helpful to you. Rather than the traditional trial-and-error approach (which can take hours in the shop), you can quickly simulate the appearance of a piece on the computer. Once you have a pattern you like, print out the details of the location of each cut and then go to the shop and make some sawdust. The program can also be used for guilloche work, both straight line and rose engine.

This software also generates g-code that can directly drive a computer controlled stage. For more details on the hardware that I use, see the Computerized Ornamental Lathe project pages.

The earlier versions of this software that I had released to the public was called "RESuface" (Rose Engine Surface simulator). You can watch a brief introductory video on YouTube called COrnLathe3 Demo. Although this current version of software has a lot more features and an improved user interface, you still may want to watch the video tutorials of the older versions of the software. View the video tutorials on YouTube: Basic Version video, Advanced Version video, and RESurface2 Enhancements.

Significant Improvements!:

Over the last two years, I have completely rewritten the entire program. Here are some of the improvements:

Some Limitations:

Apple, Oracle, and Microsoft make changes faster than I can keep up with them. So now I'm only providing the compiled software package for the same version that I'm using on my own Mac computers in the shop.

Buying a used Mac on eBay is cheaper and easier than trying to adapt the software to some other equipment. For those who insist on using some other kind of computer, they are welcome to download the source code from GitHub and make whatever changes are necessary to run on other equipment. Since the software is written in the Java language, it should run on Windows or Linux. However, you'll have to do the compiling yourself.

Computer Requirements:

The software was written in Java8 on a Mac computer using the NetBeans interactive development environment (available for free). I do my software development on either a Mac Pro (late 2009) or a MacBook Pro 15" Retina (late 2013). It also works fine on my wife's MacBook Air laptop (2015).

My shop computer is a Mac Mini (mid-2011) I bought on eBay for $380 and upgraded the RAM to 8GB. The software will really bog down if you don't have adequate RAM (RAM is cheap).

I've updated all of my computers to the latest release: OSX 10.11.6 (El Capitan). If you are buying a used computer, I suggest that you buy something that runs this latest version of OSX. In the past, I've run it on OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) and OSX 10.10 (Yosemite).

This current software may not work on older versions of OSX (I haven't tried). It most definitely will not work on older versions of Java (Java 8 is required). I will not be upgrading to the next version 10.12 (Sierra) which is scheduled for release later in 2016 because it won't run on my desktop computer.

Mac Computer recommendations:

Mac Installation:

Note: The link on the left margin to the Mac Disk Image will be updated occasionally when I make any significant additions. For those of you who want to compile the software on Windows or Linux, GitHub will always have the latest stable copy that I use in the shop.

Other countries/languages:

The software has recently been modified to accomodate those in countries which use a comma as a decimal delimiter rather than the period decimal which is used in the US. All floating point numbers in the xml files will have the comma for a decimal delimiter for those locales using that convention. Note that the g-code output will continue to have a period decimal delimiter as required by LinuxCNC in all countries. The examples directory has a directory called "examples_FR_DE" that contains the example files for France, Germany, and other countries using the comma decimal delimiter.

Special thanks to Jean Claude in France for helping with the above modifications. He has also provided French translations to the Help files:

And finally:

If you would like to make a contribution to support my newer software development, click on the "Donate" button on the left (payment via PayPal). Thank You!

Email me at:

This software is part of the Computerized Ornamental Lathe (COrnLathe™) project.

This software is Copyright © 2015 by the Studio of Bill Ooms.