So being an adventurous sort I thought I would experiment in a bit of concrete casting. It's perfect for objects where you need to make many duplicates and for objects that will remain outdoors.
First I needed a 'plug'. A plug is a 1:1 scale model of the thing which you mean to cast. In this case a spawn point sign for a local airsoft field.
If you have read any of my other CNC posts you will probably be familiar with the phases of a CNC project:
1. The idea in my head. bing! lightbulb moment! I wanted something that would be simple, indicative of it's purpose and look kind of contemporary mixed with something you might see in a first person shooter.
|Designing the sign in SolidEdge 2D|
2. I then draw the idea in 2D. I used SolidEdge 2D Drafting.
|Designing the toolpaths in CamBam|
3. I then design the movements (a.k.a toolpaths) of the cutter.
|The toolpaths imported into EMC2 CNC controller|
4. Finally I feed the toolpaths into my CNC control software in the computer attached to my CNC router.
Then it's a case of locating the plywood to be cut onto the bed of the CNC router and setting the CNC controller off.
|During the cutting phase.|
CNC cutting often surprises people with how long it can take. Even a very small 200mm x 200mm and relatively simple sign like this takes over an hour of continuous noisy cutting.
Eventually the sign is produced, and after a quick clean with some P180 sandpaper it looks like this. All perfect with clean crisp lines. Just imagine trying to make this by hand.
|Cut and cleaned|
As I am going to be casting this sign I need the surface to be smooth so the casting medium will release the plug. I gave the sign a quick spray paint in white gloss.
|The plug, all painted up ready for casting.|
That's it for today, I need to leave that paint to dry for at least 24 hours. In the next post I will cover my casting experiments. Thanks for reading!