Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blue Genie’s Magical CNC Art

This post comes from Blue Genie, who uses the power of a CNC to upscale, sculptures for commercial art purposes. Blue Genie uses a 3D laser scanner from Scantech to upscale sculptures usually made out of a modeling clay, it is accurate to 1/100 of an inch. they then use a 4 axis CNC router and CARSO software, to create the piece. check out their photo illustrated process page, for more pictures.

“Our Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) mill sports a powerful 5.5 HP motor. This motor spins router bits ranging in size from 1 in. down to 1/16th in. and the gantry moves the motor around on a 3-dimensional XYZ axis. Milling with the 1 in. bit is quick — great for roughing in large sculptures and cutting out simple shapes.”

“CARSO is the main software we use for manipulating and toolpathing scanned data. Scanned images can be scaled in any dimension to any size and the software will split it into blocks that fit on our machine. Other possibilities include milling in reverse for waste mold casting or mirroring for exact opposites. Toolpathing is when we create the numeric file that the milling machine follows. With VisualMill we can toolpath CAD drawings as well as scans. We can import a wide variety of 3D data including DXF, STL, IGES, 3DM, OBJ and many more. We’ve even milled from a digital elevation model (DEM), which is earth data taken from a satellite.”


the pictures below are a series of photographs that walk us through a project they did for a local library. Using laser scanning they converted the book to a CAD mesh to G Code. enlarging an ordinary book to 2.5′ x 4′.

Digital Sculptural Enlargement Process — Scanning Digital Sculptural Enlargement Process — the Scan

Step 1. the book is placed in a digital scanner, and translated into a CAD file

Step 2. here you see the CAD file of book

Digital Sculptural Enlargement Process — the EPS Block Digital Sculptural Enlargement Process — Milling

Step 3. here you see the uncarved block workpiece ready to be cut

Step 4. the CNC mill starts removing material

The Final Product — An Enlarged Book

Step 5. here we see the finished product, sprayed in Polyurea hard-coat, with painted illustrations, sign enamel and added LED “neon” light around the edges.

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