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.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Nuit Blanche continues!

The 2 supports for the 20' pipe run were made from 4" PVC pipe. Quick, cost effective, easy to work with and plentiful! Which, by the way, is exactly how I like my ladies............... :)
Because these are going to be in the fountain, in about 8" of water, I put 10 lb weights into each leg, and drilled a few holes to allow the water in and out. These got a couple of coats of red oxide primer, which is how the reference images we were supplied, seemed to look.
The final portion of the pre-build was these 2 pipe flanges. These flanges mount to the side of the 20 foot pipe, and accept the vertical pipe that will be spewing the goo. I machined in the above grooves into the bottom, so that when the fx pipe starts flowing, not only will the goo leak out the top hole, it will also flow out these channels, allowing it to run down the length of the pipe!
When we arrived at location, one tank was already in place on it's riser, and the other tank was being fitted with it's aerator flange by the fx team. These tanks are huge! 8 foot diameter, by 13 feet tall. Our task for the tanks was to paint them. Because these are Poly tanks, which nothing sticks to, Jody and I held hands, and prayed to the adhesion gods for their mercy upon us!
The painting went very well. We used an exterior matt latex, which did the job, but it took nothing to scratch it back to the poly. BUT......it did hold for the duration of the event. Jody painted the bottoms of the tanks, while I perched precariously from the top of a Genie lift, slowly manuvering around. The total painting time was around 3 hours for the pair!
Hard to tell, but these tanks are now light industrial grey. We also had to clad the tank risers in a black material, as per spec. So we went with 3/16" coroplast. Light and easy to cut on location. Plus, the hollow cores would fill with water, essentially becoming a water ballast, adding a little stability to the sheets. Which was nice, because we were only zip tying them onto the risers.
Here's the final pipe assembly, ready to perform! The supports and flanges really look authentic. The very left pipe running upto the tank is all fake. It just needed to look like the right side a little. The right side is the business end of this crazy build. This is where the environmental disaster will happen, to cheers of onlookers everywhere!

The final potion was the tank graphics. It would have been awesome to print these on pressure sensitive vinyl, but I knew that if I did, they'd only stick to the paint, and fall of in about an hour, leaving a shiny white poly patch in it's place. So the solution was to have them printed on banner material, trim them out, and staple gun them on.

When we were done, Jody wanted to get a picture in the centre of the fountain. Largely because no-one is actually allowed to be in there! But why waste this awesome opportunity?

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