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.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Mission to Mars!

The Holiday season was a little weird for me this year! We have been working on some product development jobs, and doing some renovations at our house. Usually it's a little quiet around Christmas time, but this year, no way! I, of course hadn't planned on the amount of work when I tackled the shower remodel, so I spent a lot of time bumming showers off friends and family until ours was ready to use again :)
We had a couple of sign to cut for another few sign shops through the holidays as well. I'll post those in a bit.

The current build is for another toy commercial. This pre-lights on the 8th, with the delivery happening on the 6th. They'll actually shoot it on the 9th of January.
They want a Mars style surface for the toys. This build will be similar to the Batman and Dinosaur build we did in the summer. In fact, I think it's for the same people again.
This is the layout sent by the Art Director. This was drawn in Sketch-up, and allows us to pull real world heights and measurements from the file. This makes building a lot easier!
The middle section of terrain is around 20' wide. Most of the mountains and rock structures we will keep wild, this will let them move them around like martian Lego, depending on the lensing they go with.

The bulk of this set will be styrofoam again, and this time I went with the lightest density at type 1.
I also FINALLY picked up a hot-wire bow cutter. I'm hoping it will reduce the endless amounts of styrofoam balls that populate the shop for months after a job like this!
95 lb Jody (in a 200lb man set of coveralls HA HA) started the layout and cutting of the foam sheets. I imported the set drawings into Corel for dividing up into block sections for the rough cuts.
The hotwire cutter worked amazingly quick and mess free. Although trying to cut and stay on the line is a bit like driving a bus drunk!
With the rough cuts made, the sheets were glued up using spray foam, and a little tape to stop the foam from spreading the joints.
Using some strips of poly sheets to keep the sections from sticking to each other, we glued them together and stacked them all up. I only have two 50lb weights, so this let us keep all the sections flat till the glue dries.
It may not look like much, but these are all the rock sections for the font base portion where the toy will be set up and shot.
By the end of the day, we had 90% of all the foam cut and glued.
I love our new hot-wire cutter!

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