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, 25 July 2014

Rendering while we work!

We got another job late yesterday, so that left us to pick up some materials, and draw up the files.

The latest jobs are both design and renders for some upcoming work.

As far as I know, the train will be fabricated by another shop, but I'll supply the files extracted from the 3d model. The lamp post I'm hoping that we'll get to build, but we'll see how it plays out!

Meanwhile, we're working non-stop to fit in the Thursday night job!

I guess I'll sleep when I'm dead!
8)
JWO

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Were back.......but never really left!

After the waterslide job, Jody and I took about 5 days off to tackle some projects at home, mainly our deck!
Then, every project that rolled through the shop, we were unable to post anything on.
One project we did just finish though, was some giant letters for a commercial shoot.
The letters were to spell the word "SOFT" at 9 feet tall.
I didn't document it fully, but I did capture some pictures!

 First up was drawing the file to size. I do all my technical drawings in Corel, and this job was no different! Corel has a ton of great features, that cross both the CAD and illustration borders with ease.

The first letter we tackled was the the "O". All the letters faces were cut from 3/8" MDF, while the curved returns were table sawed from 1/8" Marsawa plywood. Being that these will just get coated with Zinser primer as their final coat, the grain of the Marsawa didn't need to be filled. Man this was big! In fact, it was too big for any truck we could rent, so we built it in 2 pieces, for final assembly on set!

The S was a monster as well! Wrapping the inside of the letters with the 1/8" was a borderline Herculean task. Me, Jody, and about 30 clamps to be exact. We did break a few sheets in the process though. I tried wetting the sheet at first, but instead of breaking with a snap, it just kind of folded like wet cardboard. But in the end we succeeded!
The F and T were saved until last, as they were all straight cuts from the 3/8" MDF. I was going to use 1/4" MDF, but I was worried that it might warp when it comes to painting.

The actual shop build took us 3 days for all the letters. Being that the pieces are so big, and heavy, the painting was to be done entirely on set, to prevent any damage to the finish. Plus it also meant we didn't have to be very careful loading the truck.
On load in day, we got to the studio around 1:30, and started assembling the O. This was the only letter that needed to be put together. It also meant doing the seam filling as well. We did that with compound 45 for speed, and ease of sanding. Still though, by the time it was all filled, sanded and painted, it was midnight. Good job we're only an hour and a half drive from the studio.............It was a late night by the time we got home.

We had a great team of P.A.'s at the studio that made moving and installing the letters really easy!
In order to make the letters safe, and not have them roll away, I made base plates from 3/4" plywood. Those are the bare plywood forms in the picture.
These got lag bolted to the concrete studio floor, then the design of them allowed for the letters to be tilted up and over them. Once standing, I drove screws through the back side of the letters, and into the base plates.


The finals looked great with the actress!
The O was my least favourite of all the letters to deal with. It was big, a pain to put together, and fill, and paint! So once it was wrapped, we barrel rolled it into the studio, and cut it up with a sawzall! THAT was the best part of the job. Getting to cut it up was quite satisfactory for me! But not before snapping a picture of Jody in the middle!
All in all, the build was pretty good. There was another element to the job, and a big one at that, but I can't post about it until the shoot airs on television..............................
8)
JWO




Monday, 16 June 2014

3D Modelling Challenge!

While we were teaching in Indiana, a few of the attendees wanted me to launch a 3d modelling challenge. I think that this is an amazing idea! It will be great for the people who attended to push their new found knowledge. And for any experienced 3d modellers  who read the blog, it might be something to have a little fun with. So here it goes:

The challenge is to 3d model a computer mouse that looks like it is built for super fast speed. This is totally left up to your interpretation. The only requirement is that it is still recognizable as a computer mouse in the end. The deadline is July 16th. Being that this is a friendly competition, I encourage people to post progress screen shots on our forum. If your having trouble with something, or can't quite figure something out, please post your request for help. I also encourage the experienced modellers to reply to the posts to help out. Again, this is just for fun, and about pushing yourself past where you are!

Any software you choose to model in is fine, no conditions at all. The judging will be on the actual model, and not any fancy rendering, although those who can render are encouraged to do so.
Here's the link to the forum:

http://forums.oxenhamdesign.com/post/3d-summer-modelling-challenge-6946988?pid=1283204501#post1283204501

Good luck to all, I look forward to the creations!!
8)
JWO