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, 18 November 2011

Installing the motor and transmission

I headed out today to grab the drive chain we will be using to spin the prop. I had already picked up the sprockets and hub last week and got them welded together, as well as the 5/8" threaded rod we would use as the shaft. I had to draw up a couple of new pieces in Aspire that we needed to mount everything together for the prop. All in all it went fairly smoothly. By smoothly, I mean that I only had to cnc 1 piece over again. The top system got a coat of brass paint and installed. I know that the drive system would NEVER be made from metal as soft as brass in the real world, but the colour works so well with the wood.
The greatest thing about living at this point in history is the technological advancements that humans have made. If this was 150 years ago, the motor required to make this fly would be so prohibitive to use. It would be inefficient, heavy and smelly. But we as people have come such a long way now, motor advancements have come in leaps and bounds. Now a motor for a flying machine is small and lightweight, as well as running 100% electric. This would have never been possible at any other point in history. Plus, when the shoots over, they can use the motor to remove all the screws from the flying machine so it fits back in the cube van.
You'll notice the advancements in throttle position mechanics as well. This proven system rarely fails, and can be found on numerous movie props. Throttle position can easily be changed by simply changing the tension on the adjuster screw. However, as advanced as we've become, flight with this propulsion system is somewhat determined by the length of available extension cords.

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