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.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Starting at 8 am just to get a head!

I started today at 8 to get a jump on cutting Louie. I had done all the model slicing in Aspire Thursday night, but when I measured the HDU today, it calipered out at 1.940". To bad I sliced all my models at 2". DOH! So I had to re-slice them all again at the right measurement. This is the first sheet of HDU I've gotten that was actually UNDER 2". So the moral of my story is.................................

Not a real big deal though. Aspire makes it very easy to generate cut boundaries for our Techno cnc, so I wasn't set back all that much. Like a kid at Christmas, I waited for the first part to come off the machine. Then I waited for the second part to be done so I could have something to do by gluing them up and filling the seams. Then the parts just kept on coming, and coming. I would do some seaming, generate toolpaths, start the router, glue them together, then repeat! The router quickly outpaced me. A friend stopped by, and upon watching my Techno cnc, commented that IT was the REAL artist, and I was the chump paying the power bill! That old guy might actually be on to something. Between the roughing and finishing passes on the router, each piece took a total of 18-20 min. each. Can't complain about that. Louie did need some clean-up coming off the machine, but as I didn't want to do a cutter changes all the time, I opted for manual labour on cleaning up the tool marks. HDU is pretty easy to work,

After awhile, I got all the head pieces together and filled. It's a little larger than I originally thought, but that makes it cool.
Because this guy is so big, He will need a little more detail than the supplied CAD file. One thing I did in Aspire, was to cut tail flaps and a rudder on the plane. I will place these slightly off center to give it a bit more character. In the image they sent of the box artwork, Louie is wearing an old aviator's jacket with the wool collar and cuffs. I mixed up a little urethane glue and spray-foam, and dabbed it to theses parts. Once the painting and glazes are done, it should look pretty cool.
We are on set tomorrow for the last HESS Gasoline shoot day, so I will get back to Louie on Sunday. As far as I know, he needs to be crated and delivered by Thursday, so I think we're good so far.


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