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.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Workin for the weekend

It seems the work just keeps rolling in! This is good though, summer is usually our busiest time of year. It affords us to be able to escape for a week in the winter months.
The Sleeping Giant beer taps seem to keep flowing. There are more of these things to do. Machining them out of wood is no longer an option, so we're going to move towards resin cast versions. This is for 2 reasons, 1 is that the wood doesn't consistently hold the resolution at this small size, and 2 is the run times are too long for this to make any sense.
This morning I headed into the shop to cut one more tap handle. This one is a little different in the fact that we're milling it from 70lb tooling board. This will definitely hold the detail of the text portion.
I sliced up a block of the stuff and screwed it down to our Techno cnc. The model was the same model I did in Aspire for the other runs.
It milled away while Jody and I worked on assembling the last of the Molson cruiser tables. In my haste to get out of the shop before midnight, I didn't get any images of the final piece. I'll post them tomorrow when we pull the part from the silicone mold we made. These handles we will cast in a tinted resin, then apply a gel stain. From 2 feet away, you wont see any difference over real wood. The difference will be in the fabrication time. If these are given a final approval, the time will go from 12 pcs every 4 hours, to 10 pcs every ten minutes! Now were cookin with gas!

Friday evening we got a call from our favourite producer Tom to fabricate a kids sized crash test dummy head. It's deadline is Thursday. I don't know if it shoots on Thursday, or pre-light is on Thursday. I'll find out on Monday.
The reason I started 3D modeling in the first place was to give clients a render of the actual geometry we would fabricate. I have worked in shops over the years that didn't do it this way, and the final piece was always different than the concept. This way, everyone wins!
 Based on a couple of images I was sent, this is the head I came up with in Hexagon. It also needed to be a kid sized head. So that meant they wanted the head a little 'chubby-er' than normal.
These will be the parts that will get exported to Aspire for toolpathing on Sunday. We're going to go with HDU for this as the budget allows it for a change! I really didn't want to have to coat styrofoam, etc.
It should go painlessly with our Techno cnc doing all the hard work!

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