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.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Prana Furniture: Enough Said.

The last week has been mildly exhaustive. The move, at the time, was long and drawn out. Now it seems it went pretty quick. We have all of our stuff in the new space, and it will take a while to get it organized I'm sure. But we at least have new space. The divider wall is still unfinished sadly, so we share space right now with the fiberglass shop. It reminds me of Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinnati, with his imaginary office walls!
I was glad I was able to do the 3 phase power hook-ups myself, as there were some un-forseen cost associated with the move.
I think it was awesome that it was freezing cold on "Moving the Techno cnc" day. And ferociously windy to boot. The only lifting device available to us was a Bobcat skid steer, and it wasn't able to tilt its forks with the machine loaded on. Which puts the machine at around 3000 lbs. I'm guessing. Good times, good times.

The rush to move the router was due to a funky new job that came through for us. It's a freeform, sculptural chair from Prana Furniture. I knew about it for a while, but the hammer didn't fall until very recently.

Here is a blurb from their official website:

Designed as a sculptural compliment to the one sitting in it, the chair was originally conceived to accentuate the form of the user, as a womans shoe might her leg. Material is added where needed, and removed where it is not. As a result the forms are honest and derived from the functions that they serve. The design possesses an innate mechanical advantage that also provides its unique aesthetic. When placed upon a reflective floor it is apparent that the underside has been considered to the same degree as the rest of the chair. Drawing from a background in life drawing, sculpting, and automotive surfacing, reflections and highlights glide across the surface seamlessly as the eyes observe the chair. 

The designer is a fantastic guy by the name of Jamie Ibbett. He has done some great things, most notably working with BMW.

After working with him closely on how we are going to build this chair prototype, I think we've got it nailed down. We are going to be using 2" HDU. This will be machined in 2 halves, at which point the new neighbors will be making the molds and pulling 10 fiberglass finished pieces. The neat thing about this chair is it has all Class A, automotive surface geometry, with a huge amount of time being spent on surface reflection.

It will certainly be a challenge on a 3 axis router, but I know Techno cnc and Aspire won't be the weak link!

1 comment:

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