I am thinking about low temperature type of casting. That is metal temperatures under 600 degrees and suitable for RTV type mold making. Nothing cast in stone here but I suppose that is possible too. Ha! The first rule is there are no rules except for my rules. The second rule is to go back to the first rule. I am a benign dictator to myself.
This art craft includes casting toy soldiers sort of thing but I doubt I will be doing much of that. I am currently interested in pewter (lead free) and just about any other material I can play with. My intent is to sell what I make if it is good enough. Designs can be anything from jewelry, to house wares, to metal or plastic model parts. I don’t know where I am headed at this point. If I enjoy how it looks and can make some profit then it is fair game.
I consider this an art to be learned and constantly developed. That is why I am posting this alert here in Dimensional Art.org. The name seems to fit. I won’t be posting any how-to’s as that is not the purpose of this blog. Just watch for some results in the next few months.
My brother Jim and his wife Patty live in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The rocks may be flat but the land certainly isn't.
Jim built this house on the side of a mountain as you can see in this Lithophane. It's almost brand new and in fact, in this picture it is. I thought it would be nice to make him a unique image of his new home. So here it is. It kind of has an old time heirloom look to it.
I carved this Mayan Calendar in 1/4 inch thick Corian (brand) solid surface material. The diameter of the circle is 7-3/4 inches. The last picture was created within Vectric Aspire V2 to illustrate how the finished carving would look. I will say, no difference.
Tooling was a solid 1/4 inch 60 degree V-bit at 10, 600 RPM, feed was 50 IPM cut with 30 IPM plunge. Minimum Z depth was set to -0.20 inches but it looks like it didn't get there. The material is 0.250 inches thick. Cut time was 1 Hour 35 minutes. That's the carving details for the fellow carvers out there.
It can be used for a wall hanging or perhaps as a table hot pad. Corian can't take high heat but a hot dish would be fine.
The primary reason I made this piece was to display and test the accuracy of the HB2 carving machine I built. This is a smaller version of the first carving I made on this machine. The HB2 machine is mostly a PDJ design, but I made changes and details (like the spindle and stepper heat sinks) to suit myself. A picture of my machine can be seen at the bottom of the PDJ home page.
Some of the calendar pictures are close duplicates, but I couldn't decide which ones not to show. There is still some Corian material dust (the white looking deposits) in the carving and it takes a lot of work to clean it all out. The close up photography brings all those details out but it looks much better with normal hand viewing. The detail is fantastic as many of the surface lines drop right down into the deeper areas. A nice looking project.
The carving is only one part of a fully finished piece. The software design is a good sized part of the effort. The carving is interesting to watch but it is the amount of time in the detail finishing that would make this a piece of art. If this was a piece for sale, I would detail the finish, but time is money. This piece has a flaw, a little slip off the right edge -- so in my book, this is as much time as I need to spend on this example.
Not quite perfect but I hope you like what you see. I love the detail.
Shown here is a relief carving in a 4" x 4" bone color Corian tile that is 1/4" thick. The subject is the Zodiac twins, Gemini. The tile was cut with a 1/16" rotary cutter. One pass would have been sufficient, but I ran a second pass 90 degrees to the first. The second pass did very little except clip a few ridges here and there.
This is the same material I use for Lithophanes. This is not a Lithophane but it can be back lighted for an interesting effect.
I spent some time with Adobe Lightroom to highlight the grain produced by the router tracks. These are not normally seen with the naked eye. The photo enlargement helps bring this detail out.
This is the hearld of the Saint Louis and San Franciso Railroad, AKA the FRISCO line. If you have any doubt it is called the coonskin, read this documentation. It is also the name and emblem of the city in Texas where I live.
What I did here was take the business card a fireman from the City of Frisco, Texas gave us after we had our lightning strike (and fire) back in 2009. I put the card in my scanner and turned it into a digital image. From there I put the image into Vectric's Aspire software where I converted the graphic into vector graphics.
One picture was created by the software showing exactly what the logo will look like when it is cut on a CNC router machine. The real parts have not been made but the picture looks very real. The other pictures shows two examples of the final parts and includes the business card from which they were designed.
Of course now the coonskin can be carved in any size my machine can handle.