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.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Turbo Town YAAAAAY!

After a few meetings, and final approvals on some stuff (including posting here) we are slamming head first into a new kids tv show. The shows working title is "Turbo Town" it's basically about a town of remote control cars that have various adventures! The show focuses on problem solving, and "try and try again"
We were able to watch the first test episode they shot, and I LOVE IT! The cars all have animatronic eyes that help express the characters, and make them personable. No CG on this show, it's all being done 'in camera', which is a model makers dream come true!
We're building all the garage homes for the cars, and painting all the car bodies.
The first task was to design all the car logo's, that combined with the individual colours, will help make each character unique, but easily identifiable, while keeping a consistant look throughout.
I spent a couple of days designing these up, based on sample images from the director. A few small changes, and they were very happy with them. We're going to get these printed as decals which will be placed on all the cars and trucks.
The other part so far is re-making the one mold for the hero character "Rod". The existing mold was hand sculpted, and very well done, but wasn't perfectly symmetrical, as well as having some dimples here and there. In the end, we decided to 3D model a new truck mold for vacuum forming. The one I modeled was based VERY closely to the original, with the exception of slightly exaggerated curves. I was afraid to venture to far off the beaten track with it, as it does have to work with the R/C chassis, as well as the animatronic eyeballs.
The two giant pop-ups are where the eye-balls will reside. The darker red portion gets trimmed off to allow for wheel movement, etc. I'm pretty excited to start machining this on our Techno cnc! I'm going to cut a test one out of HDU, this will allow them to vacuum a pull, and test for clearances. Once everything is confirmed, I'm going to re-machine a new one out of 40lb tooling board.

I'll have to slice this model, as I can't cut the full 5" thickness due to tool-length/ collet collision on the part.
I've sliced a ton of models for machining before, but I've always glued the layers up after, and cleaned up the seams. I can't do this mold that way, as I don't want any seam-lines creeping in. I want the Techno to do all the work. So I'll have to cut a layer, glue up the next one while the block is still locked down to the machine, and over-machine the seam. This is going to have a little creative Aspire work, but in the end it will rock!

Tomorrow I can get to start the HDU test plug, as the Director is coming to the shop on Monday to pick it up.
We also have a full size kitchen set that get installed on the 23rd of this month! I hope they get their finals all figured out, as we are starting to run out of time!

That seems to be a staple these days....................Good job I'm young!!


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