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.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A New Life At The Aquarium!

We worked fairly late on Friday to get the last of the shark wrapped up. We're not hard-coating, or painting this guy. The hard coat will be done by another shop, then he'll head out for his spanky new paint job!
The head kinda had it's own thing going on. It needed to be as hollow as we could get it. There will be a speaker placed into the roof of it's mouth so he can speak, and the back of the head will get a filling hatch cut to re-load the machine with stuffing. This was accomplished mostly in Aspire, by cutting out as much of the inside as possible, but the head file had to be sliced accordingly to allow for this.
Until the head was finished, I had Jody stand behind the shark all day as a head stand in! It probably would have been funnier to have her stand IN the shark :)
 The head was assembled, and glued on as a final piece. The bottom jaw going on as the very last piece.
I nested the teeth together in Hexagon, and added a network of .250" rods that served as tabs during the machining. I toolpathed this file in Cut 3d, as it almost completely automates the double sided machining process. I especially appreciate the over-cut feature!

the last step was gluing the teeth into the mouth. When I sliced the teeth off the mouth in the computer, I left a little stub of the teeth in the gums. This made for quick locating all the teeth during gluing.

The shark got installed today at Ripley's Aquarium, and the paint job looks great. With the hardcoat on, you could hit this with a baseball bat, and it wouldn't leave dent!

A quick job that came out great! My kinda jobs!

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