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, 9 December 2011

big build for little outcome

We finished the miniatures build at around 2 am on Thursday. I was able to get a couple hours sleep before getting up to deliver them to location for 7 am. The worst part was finding parking at the residential location. Trucks and cars everywhere! We were able to finish the small 6" Adrian Gonzalez figure, which was looking very doubtful due to the files coming 3 days late. The .OBJ file had Adrian in a standard T-pose ready for animation rigging. However the model wasn't rigged yet, and we didn't have a lot of time left to do much of anything. I was able to remove the arms and remodel the sleeves. This left our little action figure looking quite stiff and robotic. As he will never make the final film cut, and the deadline was 1 day away, this would have to do. We were able to put small hinge pins in so his arms would at least go up and down.

When the job got started, we were going to 3D print him in ABS plastic, but as time marched on, we had to machine him. I did a final pass with a 1/32" cutter set with a 5 percent stepover. Even though the machine time was long, it was still quicker than printing by 60% at least. The arms, head and body were toolpathed in Cut 3d to take advantage of the ease of placing tabs. Great software rocks! As this job was almost all 3d cnc work, we added a small tabletop cnc router to our arsenal of tools to help get the work done. As this machine is a stepper based router, it wasn't nearly as fast as our Techno cnc, but did help conquer the timeline. I was pleasantly surprised by the little routers determination to be a team player! We also had a sculptor friend work for a couple of days as well. Karen Koombs is an amazing artist, who I try to have in whenever I can. She and Jody were responsible for all the painting as well. Karen was in on the Yeti build at the beginning of the year.

It was actually a lot of fun working those two crazy chicks! Karen sculpted the 4 Little Deviants. These we made from 2 part epoxy puty.

There were actually 2 cars, but the other was still in the body shop at picture time.
I spent most of Thursday sleeping!

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