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, 2 November 2015

Picking back up!

I'm gonna try and pick this up from where I last left off on the miniatures build!
I have found over the years, that printing as much as we can, versus painting and masking, can shave measurable amounts of time off of a short deadline! These miniature sets are a prime example! The walls and floors are all printed vinyl. I can spend the time in the evenings drawing up the files, instead of wasting valuable build time at the shop. We did edge-paint all the MDF floor slabs though.
You can see by the X-acto knife the overall size of the room. The gumball machine was finished, and filled with plastic "gumball" beads. I made the turn dial from PVC and styrene plastic, with a silver lacquer paint finish.

And in the background, the multi-candy dispenser was finished, and filled with actual dessert sprinkles! Although the store looks REALLY bare, once they jam it full of the little toys for the commercial, it'll be busting with excitement!
The movie theater lobby set was the biggest of them all. Again the floor and walls were graphic prints I drew up. The exception was the red carpet. I cut a .060" styrene template on our Techno, then once the fit was established, I used it as a knife guide, and cut the carpet from red craft foam. I wanted a thickness to it, and the ultra-matt finish contrasted nicely against the satin finish print of the rest of the flooring.
We also made a scale popcorn-dispenser for the back wall. Miniature popcorn had me scratching my head a bit! In the end, I bought a yellow kitchen sponge, and picked it apart, to make the top all rough, and I think it worked awesome for a background element. Then we matched the counter-top color to the popcorn color, so it would be a smooth flow along the back wall.
The final touches were adding the real popcorn to the "oversized" element popcorn box, and the brass poles with red rope. The red rope we used was a piece of red pipe cleaner. It held it's shape great, and didn't place any tipping stress on the poles. The poles all had to be wild, so they could place them where ever they may need!

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