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, 5 November 2012

The new smart phones are HUGE!

Our current job didn't get finalized and ready to start until Friday. This meant hitting the shop fairly hard all weekend! We've been contracted to fabricate 3 new LG smartphones. Normally no big deal, except the phones are huge! The small phone is 31" wide, the medium phone is 48" wide, and the large phone is 90" wide. Each one has a different purpose, and will have different levels of detail.
Oh did I mention they're due Wednesday!?!
I was able to secure the 3d digital model that will be used in the various ad campaigns. However, as detailed as the model is, it isn't without flaws. Namely the corner radius's aren't quite the same. Although very tiny the flaws might be, when scaling and using different forms of fabrication, these problems are a giant concern, and compound dramatically. I will be pulling most of the geometry from the 3d model, but I'll be re-drawing it to better suit the build.
Friday was spent figuring out how it was all going to assemble, incorporating the different functions they each need to provide.
They did send me an actual phone, but sadly there was no SIM card in it.:(

The small phone is going to to house 3 or 4 real phones on tethers, and needs to be the most detailed.
The medium phone will house an electronic projector that will let people use electronic spray paint to draw on the "screen". This one has moderate detail.
The large phone is actually going to be a paneled 'media wall'. This is the graphic wall that has all the sponsors written on it that celebrities are usually photographed in front of. This one has the least amount of detail.

I started the day on Saturday by getting the pieces for the small frame cnc'd. I'm actually building the frame from 1/4" styrene, so I won't have to deal with any porous edges that would happen with pvc. Plus it glues REALLY well. I could have cut the whole frame from 1 piece, but the material yield would be so low. So I cut the end pieces that would establish the correct width, and corner rads. The side strips I just ripped down on the table saw.
I spent the next little while assembling all the parts that will become the finished frame. This is the section on the phone that will eventually be chrome, (or a reasonable facsimile)!
I skinned the outside of the frames in 1/8" styrene, which glued up almost seamlessly.
By the end of the day, the frame was all assembled and glued up. I really wanted to keep going with it, but when you chem-weld styrene, it can stay soft for a while, so I will router the rads on it on Sunday.

I was able to extract all the profile geometry from the 3d model in Hexagon. All of this info was imported into Corel to tweak. This will insure all the various bits and pieces will all work correctly together.
From the profile data, I was able to create the back profile on the phone in Aspire using some of the new version features :)
I placed the profiles back to back, leaving a space between them for holding the material down with some screws.
The corners I did seperately, and placed them in a circle to conserve material space.
All of these moldings are being machined from 2 layers of 3/4" pvc. I didn't want to use HDU, and I've got alot of PVC in the the shop. It'll be a little bit of work to cleanup, but it will work!
The black backer that will go behind the acrylic screen was cut from 1/4" black pvc. I also cut out the holes for the 3 light boxes that will light up the 3 touch keys at the bottom of the phone. When I placed it in the frame, it was like a well fitting glove. PHEW! There's always a part of me that wonders if I picked all the right vectors when I hit the Techno-cnc start button!
 We headed out early today (Monday) to get the rest of the material. The plastics supplier delivery to our area falls on Tuesday and Thursday, and I needed to get started on the rest of the stuff ASAP. So this meant a trip out there. Not bad, at least traffic was light for some reason.
 I also got the 4 flat panels for the media wall cut as well today. The above pic is the pocket for the speaker grill at the top of the phone, with the actual phone next to it. In fact, you can barely even see the speaker grill on the real phone, that's how large the media wall is!
Looks like the next few days are going to be LONG ones!

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