Sunday, July 5, 2015

CNC Routing a ZBrush Sculpt

I made use of the Roland 4-axis router at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design to make a walnut version of a portrait sculpture I created in ZBrush.

Here's the ZBrush sculpt (more details on its creation are available here). It has been decimated down to about 400,000 polygons to make is manageable for RhinoCAM (the software used to drive the router).

Mounted in the bed of the router is the block of walnut. It is about 3" x 4.5" x 8". It is clamped by the 4th axis at one end and by the tail-stock at the other end.

Roughing begins using a 3/8" diameter 2 flute end mill. This is pretty rough yet only 0.05" was left for the finishing pass.

The 4th axis of the router is rotated to the other side and roughing continues.

The first finish pass is done using a 1/8" ball end mill. It is cutting from the face to the back of the head.

Here's the final finish pass using a 1/16" diameter ball end bit. Only in the smallest crevices was any material removed.

Here's the part after the router has finished: 

Here's are a few clips of the routing process. This is shown at the actual speed of the router:

After routing there's still a need for hand work. Some sections of tear out need to be sanded/scraped out (above the left eye, at the base of the neck). The back of the ears had some very strange tool marks that needed to be filled (I used a mix of sawdust and polyurethane). And the area where the block was attached needed to be carved away and finished to match the curvature of the head and texture of the hair.

With some finish and a base:

Newer Work

A more recent small portrait sculpture, done on my own router, is discussed here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Walnut Torus Knot Table

I made another Torus Knot Table, this time from air-dried Walnut. The previous one is documented here.

This one sits in my living room:

As before, made from 30 parts which dovetail together end-to-end:

Here's a video of removing a finished part from the fixture after cutting - it's pretty clean right off the router:

Here are the parts as generated by a script:

This one is quite a bit smaller/tighter than the original - here's a size comparison of the computer models:

The smaller size is more suitable for a coffee table.