My first thought for a really cool thing to make on the machine was 3D graffiti. I borrowed a sketch from my friend Ronny Mac's sketch book and modelled it in 3D. This is a preview render of the 3D object. After a few iterations it was ready for creating the cutting code.
To make the stock material I jointered and glued up some spruce 2x4s. Here's the glued up stock block sitting on the machine ready to be planed down to the finished thickness of 3"
Then we cut a roughing pass to clear out the bulk of the unwanted material. Next is the much slower finishing cut.
Oops. The machine started removing way more material that it should be, so we had to stop the cut and investigate. Turned out that the stepper controller we had on the Z axis was defective, there was a known issue with it. Too bad we didn't know before this cut. Oh well, the stepper driver was replaced and the cut was continued. After a little time and care with a dremel the error was all but erased.
Here is the complete piece, after a few hours of cnc cut time. many hours of sanding, and a light wipe-on polyurethane protectant. the final piece is 30" by 22".