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, 26 March 2012

Cutting Texture

I was able to get the files for the spinning texture display cut on Sunday. It was really nice to 'build' something physical and not digital. Although both have their place!
The spinning text portion came out great! Exactly as I drew it. Before I cut them from the sheet of HDU, I had the router mark the centre axis. I then marked the parts in pencil so I would have a dead-centre for the the pole they'll mount to.
 The rocks portion came out just as nice, although I did bump the stepover up a bit to reduce the machining time a little. I ran these at 360 IPM and the 'ROCKS' only took 28 minutes with a 1/16" tapered ball nose.

While waiting for the files to cut, I hacked the rock form out of some leftover Ripley's Shark styrofoam. This piece is around 6" deep. Not to big, it won't take up much room as it sits on the front counter.

I glued the "ROCKS" portion to the flat on the styrofoam form and coated it with fiberglass reinforced autobody filler. Despite what you might hear, you can actually coat styrofoam with Bondo. It does eat the foam a tiny bit, but not nearly like fiberglass resin does. This has given me a very strong shell to work with. I will remove all the foam when I have finished all the cleanup on the filler. I'm thinking I will glass in some mesh on the inside to give it even more strength, but it might be a little redundant. I'll have to see how thick the shell actually is when the foam comes out.
Sadly, I have to wait to finish this piece further until next week. Time right now is a little tight on other stuff. But at least I got it this far!

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