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, 17 December 2012


Well at least the NHL rinks will get used for something this year! We were contacted to make 3 hockey related games for Molson Canadian breweries. We received what were considered to be "napkin sketches" of some simple games for some kind of promotional campaign. Not overly complicated, but they did require a little planning at the computer end before we could start jumping right in!
The first game up is "Molson Plinko". Basically the puck comes in at the top, bounces down a whole mess of pegs, and lands in a section at the bottom with the "prize". Woo-hoo!

The first step was to layout the vectors full size, based on the very loose guidelines set by the napkin sketch. From this point, I exported them out to our 3d modelling software.
Once the vectors were imported, I was able to rotate them back to 80 degrees, which is the angle we all agreed upon.
The next step was draw up the ramp the puck needed to get to the top of the Plinko challenge. This is a pretty nasty ramp. The top of the game stands at 6 feet tall. Them's some steep games!
After I confirmed the ramp met the height and width it needed to be, I extracted the sides, and exported them out for unwrapping. The whole ramp will be made from 1/4" pvc on the slide, and 1/2" pvc for the sides.
This is the sides after being unwrapped, and adding the rabbet to slot onto the 1/4" slide portion. The rabbet was cut in around 3/8" to allow for #6 screws to pin the slide portion from underneath.

The art-work was supplied, and we had the great Autotrim in Lindsay print it out on pressure sensitive vinyl for us to install. I made things easy by rabbeting in a track for all the walls to sit into. This increased the gluing area for the pvc, as well as giving us a definitive border to trim the print to, once installed on the 1/2" pvc. All of these games get backed up with 3/4" plywood, for super-strength. The plywood also lets us hinge the fold-out legs, for easy set-up.

I also cut the acrylic cover that will mount onto the front of the game. This serves 2 purposes. One is to trap the puck in the game, and the second is to fasten the other end of the bolts of the pegs to.
Once it was all together, it looked great! Quite a challenge to get the puck up into, but good looking nonetheless!
With the ramp installed, it looks like it will be a lot of fun.


  1. nice job Jamie.
    you make things look easy.

  2. How did you unwrap your 3d design to 2d for cutting?

  3. An essential hotspot for the gathering of spectators that makes the peruser walk by step.