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.

Friday, 11 December 2015

The little things are the coolest!

Inside our miniature ice-cream store will be some chairs and tables, a counter, and a wall shelving. Very store like! They sent me the 3d model for the chairs they want, and I brought it into Hexagon for layout and scaling. The final size worked out to be just over 2.25" in height.
Because these will get double side machined, it was easiest to nest them, with sprues, in Hexagon. The sprues are there just to make sure they don't all fall apart once the cutter starts attacking them!
The imported nesting was 1.673" thick, so I'll be cutting these from 2" HDU. I brought the model into Aspire, did some quick math to center them in the material thickness, then added a base component, so the cutter wouldn't have to travel all the way down to the machine bed. I kept the base component shy of the middle of the block by about 1/4". This way the cutter would at least travel past the center block seam on each side, eliminating any onion skin that would be left attached to the model, if I had the component set at the halfway, or 1" height.

42 minutes total, including flipping the material! Pretty fast turnaround for 6 chairs, and 2 table bases!

 I did have to clean of the sprues, and some machine marks, but HDU is pretty quick to deal with that sort of thing. The table tops were cut from 1/8" styrene plastic.
The next asset to deal with was the large ice-cream cone that will sit out front of the miniature store.
This scaled out at about 8" tall, and 3.625" deep. This I will cut in two halves, from 2" HDU, and glue up.
Here the cone has been cut, cleaned and primed. It's sitting next to our super-cool cartoon trees that will also populate the model base. The tree's I designed in Hexagon, machined from 40lb urethane. The sphere's are just craft foam balls from the craft store, with painted corsage pins stuck in for some color!

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