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.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

No time to Breathe!

Things are a little hectic right now. There is lots happening, most of which occupies all of my work and spare time. So essentially there is no spare time!

Last year at this time,we worked on the children's show "Turbo Town" That was the working title of the show. It has been changed now to "Zerby Derby" I do believe the stuff shot last fall will air this fall, while they shoot season 2.

We don't have near the amount of work as last year on this, but there is still a lot to do, and in a relatively short amount of time.

This was one of the casualties of last years filming! Pretty rough job being a remote control car!

Last year we machined the mold for the trucks, but in a last second, production design change, we had to scrap our mold and finished trucks and use the hand made body filler mold that they already had.
This year, everything has been better thought out, and we will again machine a new truck mold. I can salvage some existing geometry from last year, but it's ultimately a complete re-do.
There will be some new characters this year, including this "body donor". This kit will be modified to suit the needs of production, as well as a complete color scheme re-do. In fact, I think we are doing 2 planes. One with animatronic eyes for the close up, and one with fixed eyes for flying.

There is also a utility truck, and a ferry to design, machine and build.

In order to meet the production requirements, we needed a vacuum former. Last year we were supplied a very under-powered little guy, that was pretty much done by the time we were finished the job. This year, we needed something a little more rugged and powerful. Believe it or not, there is a huge gap in the vacuum forming machine market. It's either hobby grade, or serious industrial grade, with next to nothing in between. We found a suitable machine on line, but their turn around was at least 6 weeks. I didn't really want another "project", but I wanted a vac-former. One of my guys that works for me occasionally is a bit of an engineering genius, and volunteered to build it for us, so I didn't have to. He drew most of the files for me, and I just ran them on the cnc, around other stuff. The above picture is our 22"X22" vac-table being riddled with 1/8" holes on our little Techno.

It didn't take very long to get the parts assembled for the table at all.

As the steel frame was starting to get quite heavy, we decided to add linear actuators to raise and lower the clamp frame. As it most probably will be Jody or Anna forming, it can't be too heavy.
So far, it seems pretty slick! Tomorrow the final wiring will get done, then it'll get a coat of paint!


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