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.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Happy Feet!

Well not the feet so much as I was happy to get them cut. These are the feet for the seagulls. I exported them out from Hexagon and into Aspire. The toolpaths were assigned very quickly, and they cut almost as fast on our Techno cnc.
These were cut from 3/4" pvc. I'll drill them out for the threaded rod legs. The rod will carry straight on through the styro-rock and bolt on from underneath. I don't really want these gulls flying the coop after they're installed.

I'm trying to wrap up the odds and ends for our sign before the next two projects take over the whole shop. This included getting the styro-spray coating on the foam portion. I decided to brush it on, as I didn't want to deal with all the clean-up from spraying. I eventually got a total of 5 coats applied. I reallly like styro-spray, and I think it's a good product. Some people have had issues with it but I think that might be more a case of user error than the product. One important part is to make sure the whole piece is encapsulated. If it isn't, it will likely peel off after a while. Styro-spray is a urethane product, and all urethane's are first and foremost a glue. This is what they were developed for, and anything else is just a great secondary feature. With this in mind, the styrofoam becomes the weak link, no matter how strong the glue is, it's the styrofoam that will let go. If you encapsulate the project, it will perform exactly as promoted.
I'm quite happy! This will sit aside for awhile to harden fully, while we work on the other projects.
The other part of our signage is an oversized number 8. Our unit is #8, but there's no actual number on the back door, and this confuses some of the delivery trucks. I decided that a cool looking number sticking out from the building would certainly make us as easy to find at the back, as we will be in the front.
The seagull stuff is happening at the front, so I want the 8 to match our website design.

This was all drawn and textured in Aspire. I actually double sided machined it, so it will be cool from each side!  It will stick out of the wall by 2 rusty hydraulic looking pistons.
As the styro-spray coating can take awhile between coats, I set the Techno cnc at a slower pace, as I wasn't in a hurry for this number yet.
 We have another meeting in Toronto tomorrow, but I'll definitely be starting the coaster car over the weekend.

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