When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Starting the bracket

Over the weekend I was able to find some time to start drawing up the bracket that will mount the sign to the wall. I thought a rough piece of wood would be perfect. I created the arched vectors in Aspire, as well as the keystone and sand dollar. I then imported a woodgrain image I had and converted it to a relief. Those that haven't used Aspire would be VERY surprised at how easy this process is. The next step is to 'zero component outside selected vector'. This function deletes the 3D woodgrain outside of any selected vector, in this case it was the outline of the curved bracket.
I then added an arbitrary height of .75" to give it some thickness. I don't have my material that I will be making it out of handy, so I just made up any thickness for now. I will see what material is at the shop later and adjust things then.

Lookin' good I think. Now for the 'keystone' at the top. I selected the very outside vector of the keystone shape, and gave it a height of 1" This will make it stand proud of the woodgrain arch. I then added a bumpy texture from an image I created in Photoshop.

I selected the inner wall vector of the keystone and recessed it down around a 1/4". I then created a dome shape from the sand dollar outline I drew in the center of the keystone. The final step was to recess the oval shapes inside the sand dollar. I do use a bunch of different software for creating 3D objects, but for this sort of modelling, NOTHING is faster than creating it in Aspire. And fast is always good!

After this, I just had to make the arch visible again by selecting it in the component list.

The sign will look good hanging from this by old rusty chains. It is kind of making me want to start an old dive shop in Mexico. Maybe Cozumel. That's a career that would be fun!


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