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.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Back to building

Most of our computer-only jobs are coming to a close (although we are still quoting on new ones) This left today open to get into the shop and start creating again. A few of these projects are for ourselves. There is no signage on our unit, and I want something fun and unique. I spent the last little while thinking about what I wanted. As we are not located in the film district in the city, it would be pointless to advertise 'Film Props' on our new signage. We will still cater very heavily to the entertainment industry, but up here in our town, I will push our themed signage.  I decided that the 20"X120" sign box would house a sign for our themed signage, with our company name being displayed on the office windows instead. After spending a bit of time on the theme for the design, I chose a water-y style version. We are very lucky to be in a town that is nestled along the shores of a small lake, and one of the things that there is no shortage of are seagulls! I had modeled a seagull before for a display, but that character is copyrighted, so it would be pretty shady to use him. I spent a little bit of time on Sunday to remodel a new "Oxenham" version for us.

As with the last seagull, there's no need to model the legs, as they'll be threaded rod as a fastening system.

I cut the head off him, and brought the body into Aspire. The head removal was necessary for 2 reasons. One was to change the rotation angle so they weren't all in the same pose,  and the other reason was so I could machine the face portion of the head straight on.
The bodies and head only took about an hour to rough and finish machine on our Techno cnc.

There will actually be 4 seagulls on our new sign. 3 will be all crammed up on the right side, and there will be a loner on the far left. He will be leaning over the front, looking at the text portion. I don't actually have a finished sketch for the whole sign. I figured that if I was the client, I could skip the approval sketch :)

I'm not going to give away the final design on this sign, as I hope it will be a bit of a surprise to everyone reading, but I will show you the preliminary layout for the text portion.

The text is going to be laminated sintra letters on a sintra back panel. It's certainly going to lend itself to the 'by the lake' feel that I wanted.