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, 24 June 2013

Styrofoam Mountains

Well, the complicated parts of the Coors light game didn't solve themselves at all! Which meant I had to.
The base finally got all of it's hiccups ironed out. I used the cylinders that were placed along the imported chain track to make sure the little man wasn't going to bind on the inside of the mountains.
I made the Coors logo to the right size and thickness of what I would be using in real life. Once I had the logo as a 3d model, I was able to cut it out of the mountain. This way, when I actually make the dimensional logo, it should key right into place!
The other integral portion of the base is the little party cabin. The hiker dude will enter the cabin, and it will light up with silhouettes of people having a party inside!

I also used the mountain to cut out the cabin. I don't actually need the whole cabin, just the parts outside of the mountain. I will export the building into Lamina Design and flatten it out for cutting out of sheet styrene. The door will get located once I am positive it's going to work as planned.
This is the underside of the game, and you can see the chain layout. It was imperative to have all of these parts in the computer to make sure of the clearances.

 Once imported into Aspire, I overlay-ed the original design vectors onto the 3d model.

 I recessed the X's for each checkpoint, as well as recessed the logo in the center of the game. I also used the create shape tool to add small pointed domes where all the locator bolts will go. Once we remove this from the mold, the small pointed domes will actually become small "countersunk" divots that will let us accurately drill into the game. I also added a pointy track that will become the opening for the post that drives the hiker around the game.

With the extended Z-axis travel of the geometry, as well as a pretty tight stepover, the 2 game bases were on the machine all day Saturday.
Once the layers were glued up, I was able to get the edges screwed and glued together. Were doing this as a negative mold. This way the detail like locator holes, logo holder, and the cabin foundation will get cast exactly like the original geometry. It was cheaper, and faster in the end to make 2 styrofoam molds, which will be destroyed at demold time, versus one styro form, and ripping a master mold from that.
Soon the resin will flow!!

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