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, 5 May 2014

Workin' in the Hanger!

First thing Saturday, I got to work on the HUD display for the F4. I just pulled the shapes from the CG files of the cockpit we were sent. I had to re-draw them to lose the faceting of the OBJ model, but it was pretty much a tracing job with clean vectors. Most of the little details will be made from 1/4" black PVC. We have a lot of little bits of black PVC left over from the crazy monkey chain we did last week!
I laser cut the acrylic for the glass, so I could have polished edges, and remove any chance of edge chipping on the cnc. Plus, I don't have to tape the material down on the laser, so it's quite a bit faster and cleaner.

I also got the parachute canister machined, and skim coated with a sealer. No urethane hard-coat for this bad-boy, it won't require that kind of longevity!
The gauge backs for the second pilot also got made. These will mount to the firewall behind the front pilot. Simple HDU blocks, cut on an angle, with holes in the back for fake wiring, with windshield washer tubing as the fake wire.
The dashboard console (or whatever it's called) was roller coated with a thick, water-based primer. This effectively removed the "styrofoam" look to it. It'll rock with it's final paint color.

 By late afternoon, everything was test fit, and there were no hiccups!

Here's the view from the camera POV. They may shoot higher, but they won't be any lower than this.

Just need to finish the parachute canister, and add the rivets after paint. The last tough part is going to be the belt restraints. I've picked up a safety harness, and we'll have to modify it to work, as well as change the color. But,
it should be just fine!

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