November 2011 Archives

Blue Genie's CNC Art

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Blue Genie is a commercial fabricator based in Austin, TX. They utilize a 3-axis CNC router and CARSO software to create large scale projects.

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"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."
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"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."

Here you can see a small scale model of a girl with a horse, used to laserscan.\
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The laserscan is then enlarged, routed in pieces and assembled to create this version.
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In this particular project, they created a large-scale Hispanic children's book for the Terrazas Branch Library in Austin. First they used a laser scanner to convert a regular book into a CAD mesh and enlarge it to 2.5' x 4'.
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Below is a digital image of the book, in a CAD file.
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This is the uncarved block, ready to cut.
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And the CNC as it starts removing material.
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And an image of the final piece, painted and coated in a Polyurea hardcoat.
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Thanks to CNC Router News for their post on this project.