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, 26 August 2013

Waiting For The Ferry Is Always Slow!

I got quite a bit done on the ferry character for the television show were working on. Most of it was done over the weekend. The first step was to nail down a basic design for what the ferry was supposed to look like, and how it needs to function.

The plan and side elevation were quickly drawn to size in Corel, allowing for the space they need for 2 vehicles to be carried around on the water. The control tower will get the standard rc eye-balls that all the vehicles have. I also wanted to add a Sou'Wester hat to the ferry boat, for a bit of whimsy. I don't know if it will actually get added though.

The vectors were exported out into Hexagon, for extruding the hull section into a 3d object.
It really took no time at all to build the 3d hull form, working from the imported vectors. And as they were drawn to size in Corel, The hull was to size in Hexagon.
The last step in Hexagon was to split the model out into sections for machining in Aspire

 Our Techno milled away the styrofoam, while I vacuum formed a test pull of the new mold for the pickup truck.
Perfect clearance for the eyes to move freely! Woo-Hoo!
After messing around with the truck for a little while, the styrofoam hull was ready for cleanup and assembly.

Finally, a boat shape! As usual, it was followed by the phrase "That's a little bigger than I thought :)"

This morning I picked up the epoxy resin we'll be using to fiberglass the final shape.
The styrofoam mold got brushed with 3 liberal coats of resin. The more the better when making a 1 off mold this way. As we'll have to sand the entire finished piece to get rid of the styro texture, the thicker gel-coat will give is a buffer so as not to sand into the cloth. The tight inside corners were filled with epoxy and cabosil as a thickener, to aid in the 1 1/2 oz. fiberglass mat rolling the edges better.
Hand layup of fiberglass can be painfully s-l-o-w! But by the end of the day, the mold has 3 layers of cloth in it, and two 1x3's for additional strength. I ended up throwing my shirt out at the shop as it was covered in resin and glass, and I became Tarzan for the drive home. However Jody refused to join me in my shirtless adventure, leaving me as the only topless driver on the road.

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