Our client wanted to show 3 models for the Commission of Fine Arts presentation. One would be the existing site, and the two options.
I thought using CNC’s I could mill out the site from MDF. At the scale I wanted to show them, I’d need 1.5″ of travel in the Z direction. The typical MDF thickness is 3/4″ so I could glue two of them together, but you’d see that glue seam in the model and that would be very distracting. I was able to find a 4×8 sheet of 1.5″ thick MDF at a specialty cabinet shop. It cost about 250$, and was very heavy.
I cut the MDF down to size and started experimenting with the CNC’s. This was my first time using these Shopbots, and the software I was using was no where near as precise as RhinoCam. These CNC’s were not a vacuum bed, so I ran screws through the MDF to hold it in place.
I went through a few tests on these. With new software you always have to figure out the work arounds to get the machine to do what you want it to. The first 2 tests I did came out pretty bad.
Luckily I had the 4×8 sheet, so I could make a handful of mistakes.
I set up 3 different bit passes. This one is the rough out. It just takes out a bunch of material quickly.
After thats done I switch it over to a 1/4 ball to get some detail
Then at the end switch to a 1/8″ flat to carve out the stairs and stuff
These photos are a mix of the three different models.
When they were all milled out, I cut the extra MDF off on the table saw, and built wooden frames for them. I laser etched the project name on the frames. I thought it was a nice detail.
Each model took 6.5 hours to mill out.
Turned out pretty nice.
On the topic of CNC’s.
I was also working on another site for a job we were pursuing.
I ordered some really expensive tooling foam for this one. It was 4″ thick and 20#pf. This stuff is awesome. I have since purchased a 4’x8’x4″ and 4’x8’x2″ sheet of this stuff. together those sheets weight 450 lbs.
I altered the file to so that you could count the stepped topography. This also gave it a really cool look. I only used a 1/2″ flat mill on this one. One pass only, 3.5 hours.
So I set up the Canon.
Of course I filmed a time lapse.
Here is the final output.